The Rev. Dennis K. Hagstrom of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Centreville recently celebrated his 30th Anniversary as a Lutheran pastor.
ORDAINED on June 25, 1977, in De Kalb, Il., Hagstrom has served congregations in Minnesota, Colorado, and Northern Virginia. Throughout his career he has contributed by serving on Synod Councils, synodical worship and ecumenical committees, the Board of Directors at Gettysburg Seminary, and as a member of the ELCA Division for Ministry Board.
"I was influenced to become a pastor because of my home congregation in Moline, Il., where I came under the influence of two very fine pastors who were models of ministry for me," said Hagstrom. "They gave me opportunities to serve in the Church, especially with some worship and music." He has also been an encouraging mentor to many of those entering the Ministry.
"I definitely believe that the greatest influence in my ministry is the 16 years I have spent as an internship supervisor for the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg," he said.
"I HAVE TRULY enjoyed working with these men and women during their third or fourth year of parish residency. These Vicars, as we call them, have brought great gifts to the two congregations where I have supervised and have enriched parish life."
St. Andrew's has had three interns since Hagstrom has been there, and another one will begin in August. Each of them stay for one year at a time.
The biggest change Hagstrom has seen in his 30 years is the changes in the hymnals, which have changed twice in his ministry. He added: "People seem to be ... less involved in the church because there are more community and school sports and activities, and these activities compete with life in the church."
In honor of the celebration, church members, families, and friends of Saint Andrew gave 150 new Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymnals for use in the renovated sanctuary.
Hagstrom is not ready to retire yet, and he wants to work for another 10 years. He has three children and one grandchild.