Hello, my name is Jake Dyrhaug, and it is my privilege and joy to serve as Senior Pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church. Although I was baptized in St. Paul at Advent Lutheran in Roseville, I say my hometown is Bemidji, Minnesota, where I was blessed to be brought up in faith at First Lutheran Church, where I was eventually ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, majoring in English and Education. I studied Greek while in college as well, as it was a prerequisite for the seminary at the time, and after working at Sky Ranch and Christikon Lutheran Bible Camps in Colorado and Montana, a call continued to stir which I had sensed as early as jr. high school years. I also greatly enjoyed teaching English, directing plays and coaching speech in the town of Hawley, MN, where my spouse, Stephani and I first got to know each other, as she was student teaching there. To make a long story short, we ended up getting married and headed off to St. Paul where I had been accepted to study at Luther Seminary and begin the Masters of Divinity program en route to ordination.
Since then, in addition to spending a year of internship in Boise, Idaho at Immanuel Lutheran, I have served churches in Minnesota, just recently celebrating 25 years of ordained ministry. A highlight was serving as a mission developer pastor for the ELCA for eight years in St. Michael-Albertville, helping to start a new congregation. I’ve also served on Bible camp boards and recently as a Conference Dean. I have loved every side of being a parish pastor, from the preaching and teaching to the visitation and counseling and planning and attending youth events, as well as striving with lay leaders in planning and leadership. I’ve been a solo pastor, an associate pastor, and now I’m enjoying applying my experience and what I’ve learned in this new role as senior pastor here at Bethel Lutheran in Wahpeton, North Dakota! Bethel is, simply, an awesome congregation with deep roots, lots of life and a bold vision for the future.
I live in Breckenridge with my wife, Stephani and our Pug, “Oskar Olaf.” Our daughter, Kari, was recently married to our new son-in-law Troy Larsen of Little Falls, and she currently is a cake decorating artist. Our son, Ben, is currently attending Luther Seminary in St. Paul, where he is studying for ordained ministry with a goal to be a hospital chaplain. As far as interests and hobbies, I love music, in particular playing the piano, drums and guitar with other musicians and some songwriting. I also have a great love of the outdoors and when I get the chance, I get out in God’s creation for fishing, hunting, canoeing in the BWCA, road and mountain biking, and camping and hiking. I also love good historical books and documentaries as well as good humor wherever it arises!