Pastor Mike Brown

Lead Pastor

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Pastor Mike brings a wealth of experience to Bethel Lutheran Church. Born and raised in Odessa, Texas, Pastor Mike developed a real appreciation for Latin culture. This lead him to study Latin American history in college where he graduated with a BA from Texas Lutheran University. He received a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. His doctoral project was on the Lutheran Future in Postmodern America.

He has served as pastor for an inner-city African American church in Dallas, Texas, a large rural congregation in Iowa, and as a mission developer and solo pastor of a new start in Indianapolis. His most current role was the Community Pastor at Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo. Pastor Mike’s passions in ministry include preaching, worship, community outreach, evangelism, hospitality, and stewardship. During his academic studies and work with congregations, Pastor Mike traveled abroad to Spanish-speaking countries. He studied Spanish at UNAM in Mexico City, helped establish a Lutheran mission for three months in Florencia Varela, a poor suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, studied at the Comunidad Evangelica de Chile in Santiago, and took three-month sabbaticals in the Yucatan, Mexico and Southern Spain with his family. Pastor Mike is proficient in Spanish.

His writings include bible studies on Genesis, The Gospel of Mark, and Revelation. He believes the grace of Jesus Christ leads into a life of peace and justice. As a “rock hound,” he is an avid fossil collector and loves spending time on the beaches of Lake Superior. He describes himself as a real “people person” and looks forward to joining Bethel for the new adventure God is bringing.

When asked what caught his attention about the opportunity to serve at Bethel, Pastor Mike says it is his belief that Bethel is poised to become the spiritual epicenter for the greater Madison metropolitan area. Forbes magazine identifies Madison as a destination city for millennials to move to and live. Many of those living in downtown. Bethel is at the crest of a growing community, the seat of state government, and the cultural center of a population of over half a million people (Dane, Iowa, and Columbia counties). Given its geographic location, rich heritage, and ELCA roots, Bethel is poised to surpass both its memory and expectations to reach a new generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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