Trinity Lutheran Church recently welcomed its new Administrative Pastor to Merrill. Rev. Scott Gustafson arrived last month with an upbeat attitude.
Pastor Gustafson was born in Illinois, but grew up in Tampa, FL. He is an avid Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, although he does admit to holding some affection for the NFC North. During high school, he was a quiet student who enjoyed being in the background by himself. He played tennis, and his team was undefeated for two of the three years that he was on the varsity squad.
Ministry never entered his mind after his high school graduation. Instead, he began working at a Home Center store and found a love and talent for retail. The general manager of the store put him in for a scholarship and Scott began taking college classes to pursue a career in corporate management.
During this time, he became involved in his church’s youth group, serving as a chaperone. This led to a passion for ministry, and the realization that this could be full time, and that as a pastor he would even be paid for doing what he loved. Although he had enjoyed his years in retail, he took a big leap of faith and left Florida to attend pre-seminary classes at Concordia, River Forest (now Concordia University, Chicago). This led to exciting and important changes in his life, for he not only began the road to ministry, but also met his wife Georgia. They were married in 1993, and now have five children; David, Caleb and Joshua are now students at Trinity School, and Sarah and Rachel will soon follow.
Prior to coming to Merrill, Pastor Gustafson served as associate pastor for 14 years at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Norwood-Young America, MN. He is a chaplain in the Army National Guard, and was deployed for a year to the small country of Kosovo in southern Serbia.