Augsburg Fortress
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Prayer Support

August 15th, 2008 by Beth A. Lewis

Until this morning, I didn’t know anything about St. James Lutheran Church in Belle Fourche, SD. And, to be honest, I don’t know a lot even now. But, here is what I do know from the ELCA trends report:

They have an average of 134 people in worship each week.

In 2007, they added 28 members and lost only 5 due to deaths in their community of faith.

They have approximately 70 Sunday School students led by 14 teachers.

The population in the zip code in which they are located is a bit shy of 7500.

And, here is what I know from looking at their congregational website:

They have two worship services each week, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday morning.

Their worship service is broadcast via the radio each Sunday morning.

They have a staff that is made up of their Pastor, Jeff Otterman, Secretary Ann Turbiville, Organist Paula Speidel, and Youth Directors Chris & Kate Abbot.

But, those are just “facts.”

What I really know about this community of faith is that they are a prayerful and caring people. They are connected to the larger church in ordinary and extraordinary ways. And, their town of Belle Fourche is in the geographical center of the USA.

I know this because today, my assistant, Linda Anderson, and I each received a letter in the mail. Handstamped, hand-addressed, hand-signed. (Not the type of missive we see much of these days!) Each letter was signed by Pastor Otterman and 20 members of this community telling us that the members of St. James Lutheran Church in the geographical center of the USA would be praying for us and our ministry throughout the month of September. It was absolutely delightful to receive this personal touch of caring from the people of St. James Lutheran Church! These are thoughtful, caring, and most importantly, praying people.

My husband and I love to travel and explore new places. We haven’t been to South Dakota together yet. But, we just added a new spot on our “someday” list. Worship at St. James Lutheran Church in Belle Fourche, SD!

And, to the people of St. James Lutheran Church…..thank you! We’ll be praying for you and your ministries, too!


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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress
  • Nice blog.Will visit again

  • Beth A. Lewis

    Thanks! It would be great to have you visit and offer your insights! Blessings, Beth

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