May 6, 2018
This afternoon, Calvary members met for a special congregational meeting to vote on the Senior Pastor Call Committee's recommendation of Pastor Zach Thompson as our church's next senior pastor. A motion to call Pastor Zach as our next senior pastor passed by an overwhelming majority (394 ballots were cast, with 392 in favor of the motion). Congratulations and welcome, Pastor Zach!
Pastor Zach will assume his new role at Calvary beginning Friday, June 1. Please stay tuned for special ways you can help welcome him and his family to Calvary and the Twin Cities. In the meantime, please pray for the Thompsons as they transition to a new church, new home, new schools, etc., over the summer. We also offer prayers of great thanks for God's faithfulness in leading and caring for the call committee and our entire congregation over the past year. May He continue to bless us in our mission to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ!
Pastor Zach Thompson would come to Calvary with an appreciation for our impact within the greater Lutheran church and among countless individuals and families. In addition, he has the gifting and experience to help Calvary continue to be a vital and effective church into the future. As a strong leader and preacher, Pastor Zach is ready and excited to help move our ministries forward in a positive way.
Education & affiliations- Graduate of Mounds View High School, Arden Hills, Minn.- B.A., magna cum laude, Communications & Religion, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. - M.Div., Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. - Youth & Family Ministry Certificate, Youth Leadership, St. Paul, Minn.
Pastor Zach is a certified pastor of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and is affiliated with the Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC).
ExperienceWhile studying at Concordia, Pastor Zach spent his summers working at Green Lake Bible Camp in Spicer, Minn. It was there that he clearly heard God’s call to ministry; after earning his bachelor’s degree, he enrolled in seminary immediately.
As part of his studies, he interned at Lutheran Church of Hope in Des Moines, Iowa—the church is known as the largest and fastest-growing Lutheran church in the United States. While at Lutheran Church of Hope, he participated in and offered leadership for all areas of ministry, preached regularly, taught a wide range of classes and served on the Senior Leadership Team.
After graduating from Luther, Pastor Zach accepted a call to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, Minn., where he served as an associate pastor. He was responsible for overseeing and teaching adult discipleship and marriage classes, young adult groups, and Confirmation. Pastor Zach also envisioned and implemented a new mid-week worship experience for the church. He was at Shepherd of the Valley for 10 years.
He is currently the lead pastor of Rejoice! Lutheran Church in Dundas (near Northfield). Founded by Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Lakeville in 2003, Rejoice! has doubled in its attendance since Pastor Zach took the helm nearly five years ago; two-thirds of the congregation’s adults are now involved in weekly small groups. Pastor Zach’s primary responsibilities as the lead pastor include serving as the congregation’s chief visionary, leader and preacher, while representing Rejoice! in the community and developing partnerships with other community churches and organizations.
“As I look back at my life, I see God’s constant faithful hand helping and directing and guiding,” said Pastor Zach. “I have a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus and helping people discover how He has wired them to make a difference in the world.”
Lutheran legacyThough Pastor Zach’s call into ministry was very personal, he is a fourth-generation Lutheran pastor. His great grandfather left Norway to be a missionary in Madagascar, Africa, in the 1920s. His grandfather, Pastor Conrad Thompson, was Director of Evangelism for the ELC, then ALC; he also was featured on the Lutheran Vespers radio show and preached at Calvary many times.
“Our family has always been focused on evangelism and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Zach. “That legacy is still vital to our family today.”
Family & pastimesPastor Zach and his wife, Lexi, have been married for 15 years. Lexi is an elementary special education teacher and an adjunct faculty member of St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. The Thompsons are parents to Soren (8th grade) and Elise (5th grade).
Family pastimes include following Minnesota sports teams, taking in all kinds of live music, skiing, hiking, camping and backpacking—which is not surprising given that Pastor Zach is an Eagle Scout! He is also a lifelong learner at heart and enjoys reading, visiting museums, and going to lectures and conferences.
Members of the Senior Pastor Call Committee are: Washington Castillo, Judy Duelo, Cindy Engelkes, Rich Graversen, Julie Holmen, Megan Percy, Melanie Racer, Andrea Ranstrom, Phil Reesnes, Julie Russo, Jon Stepan, Tim Swanson, Schuyler Townshend and Jay Trumbower. Read bios>>