Bruce Baum firstname.lastname@example.org
I graduated from JFK in 1969. Prior to that I was a student at Dana College for two years from 1963-1964. I took a year off in 1964 and in 1965 I transferred to JFK. I found a home at JFK and discovered a closeness with the professors that made learning challenging and enjoyable, especially Professor Wiseman. I loved his lectures!
Following graduation from JFK in 1969 I was accepted to Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa to pursue studies for the Lutheran ministry. In 1972, as part of my preparation for the ministry, I served as an intern at American Lutheran Church in Milbank, South Dakota where I met my wife to be, Pamela Young who was a high school music teacher. We dated that third year of seminary and were engaged before I returned to Seminary to complete my fourth year of studies. Then on June 30, 1973 Pam and I were married. In July of 1973 I graduated from seminary with a MD degree majoring in world history and psychology. I was ordained in August of that same year.
My first call was to serve as the pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Burr, Nebraska. I served that congregation for four and a half years. In 1974 our first child, a daughter, was born. A year later our second daughter was born. It was in 1978 that I accepted a call to serve Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chadron, Nebraska. I served Immanuel Lutheran for eight and a half years and during that time that our third daughter was born.
In 1986 Faith Lutheran Church in Rapid City, South Dakota called me to serve as their pastor. I served this congregation for twenty-three years and decided to retire in 2008 after thirty-five years in the ministry. However, I found retirement boring so for eleven months I filled in at congregations that were temporarily without a pastor. During that time, I also worked at 4 funeral homes in Rapid City helping the funeral directors with services and ministering to families who had no church affiliation. I officiated at funerals for people who died by suicide, were murdered or were physically abused and whose clergy refused to do their funeral service. I continue to do that ministry as I find it rewarding and fulfilling. Of course, during my retirement, I officiated at many weddings and counseled people for various reasons.
But then in 2010 I was asked by the members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Rapid City to serve as an interim pastor on a part time basis. That was supposed to be for a year or two but has turned out to be eight years now. I enjoy ministry and all aspects of it, especially preaching and visiting people in their homes. Maybe I really will retire in three years, thus bringing to an end fifty wonderful years of ministry.
In 1990 my wife and I went to Thailand to adopt a Thai boy seven years old. He is now 36 years old and has a son that is seven years old. Then in 1992 my wife and I returned to Thailand to adopt another child. He was 8 years old at the time and is now 35 years old. Our three daughters and their husbands have blessed us with six grandchildren, giving us a total of seven grandchildren. Of course, as often as we are able, my wife and I attend our grandchildren's school programs, band and choir concerts, and sporting events. Fortunately, our health has been good, so my wife and I have also been able to travel abroad to quite a few countries. I also studied in Germany for a while.
Life has been good and I thank God every day for all the people, including my JFK classmates and roommates who have been instrumental in shaping my personality and making me the person I am today by the grace of God. The JFK reunion should be a great time. I commend everyone who has worked so hard to put this event together. I wish I could be there but am unable to do so because of other time conflicts. However, I do look forward to reading the bios of my fellow classmates.
Bruce Baum, class of 1979