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Rev. Dan Torkelson grew up in Watertown, graduating from Watertown High School in 1988. While in High School, he logged over 3000 volunteer hours at Bethesda Lutheran Home, serving cognitively disabled people, where he later was privileged to work also as an employee for five years into his college and seminary years.
He graduated cum laude from Concordia University Wisconsin in 1992 with a B.A. in Theology/Theological Languages. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary St. Louis in 1996. He received a Master of Sacred Theology from the same in 1997 in the area of Luther’s reforms of the Catholic Mass. He is humbled to have studied under Dr. Norman Nagel. He completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Theology at Marquette in 2005 but discontinued his studies to concentrate on his health.
Pastor Torkelson and his wife, Jennifer have been blessed with eight children
He has served three parishes before arriving here. St. John’s in Battle Creek, IA from 1997-2001, Zion in Clyman, WI from 2001-2011, and St. John’s in North Prairie from 2011-2023. He also served vacancies in Mapleton, IA, Beaver Dam, WI, and Reeseville, WI.
He was also privileged to serve the South Wisconsin District as a Circuit Visitor from 2003-2009 and as a Regional Vice-President from 2009-2023.
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“Rejoice in the Lord, always; again, I say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4) This verse has been the theme verse for my ministry for 34 years. I attended Concordia University in Seward, NE, and received a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree. I was ordained in 1984 after graduating from Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. From 1984 to 1993, I served as Senior Pastor at Eastern Heights Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN.
In 1993, I accepted a call to serve at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in West Des Moines, IA, where I worked in the areas of Youth, Family Life, and Care Ministries. The Iowa District West, in 1997, called me to serve as Chaplain in Des Moines. During that time, I also served six vacant congregations in central Iowa.
In 2004, I accepted a call to be Senior Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ankeny, IA. During my 12 years at St. Paul, the congregation added a Family Life Center, called two Associate Pastors, and began a mission church – The Gate.
From 2015-2018, I served as Intentional Interim Pastor at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Norwalk, IA, and Assoc. Intentional Interim Pastor at St. James in Shawano, WI.
On June 15th, 2018, I retired from full-time Pastoral Ministry. My wife, Marci, is a retired Family Counselor and she is currently serving Mount Olive as an Asst Executive Director. Marci and I have two adult children, Dana and Mark, and five grandchildren.
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Katie Mace and Kathy Germanotta love being teachers at Mount Olive Christian Preschool. Katie Mace is the director and has been with the school for 3 years, and Kathy has been with the school for 10 years. Both teachers have kids that attended preschool at Mount Olive. Kathy lives in Madison with her husband and three kids. Katie lives in the town of Middleton with her husband and three kids. Both teachers are love the community of the preschool and the wonderful families that attend each year. They look forward to new families and new experiences. If you ever want to pop down to the preschool to meet them, they would be happy to see you. Or if you know any families that have preschool age kids that would enjoy the preschool at Mount Olive, please let them know!