The community of Munich has welcomed two new faces to their fold. Don Barsness and his wife, Marla, have moved to Munich to perform pastoral duties for the Salem Bible Church early in September. The Barsness’ have been married for 46 years. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.
By Melissa Anderson
“[They] live farther away than we like,” shared Barsness.
Barsness, himself, started his life very interestingly as he was born in Canada. He was raised in Billings, Montana, and attended school there. Following high school graduation, Barsness moved to Minot, where he pursued his college degree.
“While my ambition was to be a high school art teacher, I experienced a change in direction at the close of my sophomore year,” Barsness shared. Barsness was familiar with church life and ministry but had not considered taking it up as a vocation for his life.
“But the consistent and patient influence of God called me to find my place in His activity. I’m grateful for family, friends and mentors who confirmed what I believed to be God’s leading,” Barsness said.
In the years that followed, Barsness’ education as a teacher was applied to the pursuit that led to the beginning of his pastoral ministry, first in educational ministries and then in the role of lead pastor.
“Our first call was to Lignite. From there, we pastored in Wahpeton, Grand Forks and Garrison/Riverdale,” Barsness said.
Over the past five years, Barsness has served as chaplain at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby while also serving on staff at Calvary Evangelical Free Church. The Barsness’ travels to Munich began in a conversation with a ministry friend who has roots in Salem Bible Church.
Barsness shared, “Not too many months back, as we talked about Salem looking for a pastor, he asked if I would be interested. I answered, ‘Yes.’ “
Barsness and his wife are pleased to be in Munich now and look forward to their time in the community. While they know pastoral ministry can be challenging, they also know the deep joy of playing a part in the lives of a congregation and community.
“Marla and I look forward to meeting you,” Barsness shared.
For Barsness, the Bible offers relevant direction for living. The life and teachings of Jesus promise help for every day and hope for eternity. God is actively inspiring and enabling folks who lean on Him.
“My goals are focused on relationships – our relationships with God and our relationships with each other.”