About Our Pastor

Pastor David Klappenbach
Allow me to introduce myself. I am David Klappenbach, your new called pastor. My passions for ministry are preaching the gospel, teaching the faith, and growing in the faith relations with God's people. Over the last four years in Rock Port, MO I have been learning to share the gospel with the those who are not church people and inviting them to "come and see" and experience the Good News of God in the worship and the people. I hope we all can learn and have the courage to do this in Laurens.
I grew up in a Lutheran home, baptized on March 22, 1959 (Palm Sunday) at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tampa, FL. Dad worked for General Electric and mom worked at keeping up with me and my two younger brothers. As family we rarely we missed Sunday worship. My brothers and I were active in Sunday School and youth group. Mom and dad were good at helping us young kids learn to follow the liturgy. After three years of catechism I was confirmed on Pentecost Sunday in 1973.
In 1975 my father's job took him to Dallas, TX. That was in the middle of my Junior year of high school. Our second weekend in Dallas we visited St. Luke's Lutheran, Richardson, TX. We joined this parish and quickly became active in the youth ministry which was under the direction of a seminary intern, Bill Snyder. It was he who planted the seed in my life to be a pastor. However, I dismissed it as something I could not do. I did not enjoy public speaking. So I applied to college as an Engineering major (like dad) at the University of Texas at Arlington. On registration day I changed my major to Education. I knew this would require some public speaking. At the end of my second year at UTA dad was transferred to Charlotte, NC and I also transferred my college to Appalachian State University's (Boone, NC), Education program. After graduating in 1981 from ASU I began teaching in Charlotte as a physical education teacher. It was a position I enjoyed. As it turned out, all that speaking in front of others did not really bother me.
At the same time I became more and more active at Christ Lutheran Church, Charlotte. I taught Sunday School, was involved in the youth catechism and youth ministry, and began to take on some worship leadership roles. In 1987 I met Liz in Charlotte and we were married on August 4, 1990. She joined Christ Lutheran Church by way of the Rite of Baptism and she too was active in teaching and prayer ministry. Along the way I heard over and over from members of our congregation, and even one of the school principals I worked for, if I ever thought about being a pastor. Well, I was involved in the Church's ministry, and even trying out different roles in ministry, and I must say the fit felt good. So I came in to talk with my pastor about this, asking if pastoral ministry was something that God was calling me to. He responded, "it is about time!" Yes, he affirmed that I had gifts for pastoral ministry and helped get me started. So off to Seminary (Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary) in Columbia, SC we went. Each step along the way: Clinical Pastoral Education, internship, field work and the academic study that went with the preparation was affirmation enough. I graduated from LTSS in May 1998, was ordained in June of 1998 and took my first call at Trinity Lutheran Church, Malinta, OH. After five years there I received a call to Good Shepherd, Vickery, OH and after 11 years the call to serve First Lutheran, Rock Port, MO came about.
I must confess that everywhere along the way of this journey has been a gracious surprise. From discounting the possible call to be a pastor as a High School senior (you know I don't like public speaking) to end up as teacher (Public Speaking anyone?) to my involvement in the church's ministry has been a way that God has been preparing and shaping and leading and guiding to put me where I need to be. I am receiving this call to serve at Bethany with the confidence that this is God's call. Oh, yes, all of this too has been a surprise. I am looking forward to arriving in Laurens and getting to know you all. I am ready to hear about your personal faith journey and what being a part of the Bethany faith family means to you.
As I close this page, this prayer pretty much sums up my faith journey. "Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
Joyfully on the Journey,
Pastor David Klappenbach