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Zion Covenant Church welcomes new pastor

A minister who has served churches in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Ohio is the new pastor at Zion Covenant Church.

The Rev. Corey Johnsrud, 37, and his wife and children moved to Ellsworth a little over a week ago.

"I've been impressed with the welcome that we received and the warmth and the excitement about reaching out to Pierce County," said Johnsrud of his impressions of his new congregation.

A native of Montevideo, Minn., Johnsrud did his undergraduate work at North Park University and then attended North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago.

He was ordained a minister in the Covenant church in 1997.

The Ellsworth church is his fourth call. He served as youth pastor at a church in Massachusetts, co-pastor in northern Minnesota and pastor of a small congregation in Ohio.

Zion Covenant, 210 N. Beulah St., has a worship attendance of about 120. Johnsrud succeeds the Rev. Dave Eaton.

Johnsrud's family includes his wife Gretchen and three children: Micah, 10; Kajsa, 8; and Jonas, 7.

His goals, said Johnsrud, are to see people engaged in ministry and in service to the community and to help new people find a commitment to faith in Jesus Christ.

The Covenant denomination operates on a countrywide call system

Johnsrud said conferences serve as "brokers" between churches with open pulpits and pastors open for calls. Calls are for indefinite periods.

He said the Zion call committee contacted him and requested sermon examples. Then two members of the committee visited his church in Ohio.

He visited Ellsworth early in July while on Sabbatical and interviewed with the search committee, which invited him back for a full interview.

In August he preached at Zion and then participated in a question and answer session with the congregation. The next night members voted to invite him to serve here.

"Both Gretchen and I are excited about being in this community and have liked what we've seen so far," said the new pastor.