Greetings, people of Bethel Lutheran! My name is Pastor Byron Meline and I am looking forward to serving part-time as interim Associate Pastor at Bethel beginning July 1. After 40 years of pastoral ministry I retired on June 30, 2021 having served as Senior Pastor at Zion Lutheran in Stewartville for the last twelve years of my ministry. Prior to that I served at Trinity Lutheran in Wanamingo, MN (1995-2009), First Lutheran of Highland and Whalan Lutheran Churches, Whalan, MN (1985-1995) and Calvary and Hauge Lutheran Churches of Alamo, ND (1981-1985).
My wife, Lois, and I have been married for 45 years. We have five grown children and are enjoying our five grandchildren who range in age from three to eight. During this first year of retirement we have appreciated the gift of more time to spend with our wonderful grandchildren! We also enjoy traveling, camping, working in our yard and tackling projects around the house. While I am not a professional carpenter, I find much joy and fulfillment in carpentry and never seem to run out of projects on our “to-do” list!
I grew up on a dairy farm about 30 miles north of Moorhead, MN and am very thankful for the gifts that came to me in those first years of my life: an appreciation for the land, the sights, smells and sounds of the outdoors, enjoyment of animals and the ability to work hard and stay with a task until it is completed.
Following high school graduation I attended California Lutheran Bible School in Los Angeles and graduated from Azusa Pacific College in Azusa, CA with a major in Social Work. My seminary years were spent at Luther-Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, MN.
A special joy over the years has been the opportunity and privilege of connecting with ministry partners in Mexico, Colombia and Tanzania. My life has been enriched and my perspective broadened by visits with these dear siblings in Christ.
I have been a Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings fan since those teams began playing in Minnesota when I was seven years old. Like many of you, that has taught me how to deal with disappointment and to appreciate small successes!
Once again, I look forward to ministering with you members and staff of Bethel as you continue your search for a new Associate Pastor.