Pastor Ken spent his first eighteen years on a farm near Nappanee, learning to care for animals as soon as he could be helpful – mostly dairy cows, calves and mink; but also ponies, rabbits, chickens, and a pet raccoon. He learned to operate farm machinery as a young boy, and was always interested in understanding how things worked. As he grew his interests extended beyond the farm, to community connections and establishing relationships with and among others – all that makes life meaningful and interesting; and beyond our life here on earth into
the air and space and beyond, with airplane rides (the Goshen Airport was a frequent destination), model rockets, and reading about the solar system, the Milky Way and more. (Older brother Lee became an aeronautical engineer working for NASA, and recently - astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson a favorite author.)
His interests grew as he studied psychology at Purdue University, and natural science at Goshen College. A member of Brandeis University’s Jacob Hiatt Institute Class of 1970 in Jerusalem, serious questions about his childhood faith also grew, and he began studies at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary to see if he could find ways of understanding our Creator and the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth – and by God’s amazing grace - a comfortable and satisfying faith developed. Not having planned to be a congregational pastor, he then studied counseling psychology at Adler University in Chicago and became a licensed mental health professional.
Ordained at the Kern Road Mennonite Church in South Bend in 1983, he worked in community mental health services for 20 years, first at the Swanson Center in Michigan City as mental health therapist and pastoral counselor, and then at the Northeastern Center in Kendallville, as Director of Out-Patient and Acute Care Services.
Through connection with a Presbyterian Pastor in LaPorte, his world opened to considering life as a congregational pastor. He has been Covenant Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in LaGrange since 2005. He also was Minister for Education, Youth and their Families at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne on an interim basis from February 2000 to December 2003; and has been Parkview Hospice Chaplain for Noble and LaGrange counties for 25 years. He appreciates the great traditions of the church, and looks for the Divine’s Presence to comfort, guide and inspire us to a future yet unseen.
Pastor Ken and his wife Jan have two children, five grandchildren and a great grandson. He enjoys reading, taking long walks, and playing with Autumn, his Catahoula Leopard dog. But most of all, he is looking forward to joining the Goshen Presbyterians as Transitional Pastor!
(June 1, 2021)