Paul Tonn begins as new Trinity pastor


REED CITY — After two years of seeking a full-time pastor, members of Trinity Lutheran Church and School are welcoming pastor Paul Tonn with open arms and hearts.

Tonn has a wife and two children, and is originally from Houston, Texas, where he attended Texas A&M University for a degree in wildlife and fishery science.

"I was not planning on being a pastor at all in my undergrad, but God had different plans for me in college," he said. "From Texas A&M, I went to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., and after four years of school my first call was to St. Luke Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Falls, Wisc. I was there for the past six and a half years."

While an associate pastor at St. Luke, Tonn kept his name on a call list, which means he is open to other churches requesting him for a pastoral position. Trinity Lutheran Church called him, and he immediately decided to consider the option.

"My wife is from Michigan, so it was always in the back of our mind to move here," Tonn said. "We liked how in Michigan we'd be closer to one set of grandparents, so we always hoped to get back. Also, when we visited we saw the amount of younger kids and families as part of the congregation, and their excitement they had for ministry. Everything just felt very comfortable. It seemed like the right place to be."

Tonn accepted the call and was installed at a service on Jan. 31. Now, he's focusing on getting settled in the new church atmosphere, growing in the overall pastoral ministry and seeing the children each day.

"I've been to churches that have had schools and that's one thing I've really loved — having the kids running around. All the kids here say hi and interact with me already. My first official day here I came in the doors and a kid said to his parents, 'That's our new pastor' and I haven't even been here a day. That was really neat."

He's also excited to see the construction of the new school building and the opportunities to come.

"The school building being built and me getting here is good because it gives that feeling of we're working through that finishing process together," Tonn added. "We're all going through this together."