MARICOPA — Maricopa Lutheran Church voted unanimously to call the Rev. Dr. Andrew Schlecht to be its new pastor, starting on Nov. 29.

At the Oct. 3 congregational meeting, the Call Committee spoke of his passionate faith, prayer life and focus on the Word. They see him as “a great story teller, innovative and engaging,” who thrives on new challenges and who is “a peacemaker and a diplomat.”

Schlecht graduated from the University of Arizona in 1985. He then became co-owner and president of a successful architectural firm in Tucson.

He answered a call to pastoral ministry in 2004, went to Luther Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity degree. In 2008, he was ordained and began serving as pastor at Kindred Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kindred, North Dakota. This year, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary. He wrote an inspirational book that’s available on Amazon, “Where Am I?: God in the Details of Life.”

His extended family currently resides in Arizona. He and his wife are excited about serving in the growing community.

Maricopa Lutheran Church began worshiping in 2008 and formally was organized in 2013 as a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Currently worshipping via Zoom, this congregation had been meeting at Desert Wind Middle School and plans to again when conditions permit. The link to Zoom worship is available on the website www.maricopalutheranchurch.org.

Schlecht follows Pastor Glenn Zimbelman, who served for seven years, and Deacon Janice Zimbelman, who served for one. They retired in August of this year.

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