Minister loves outdoors, motorcycles, people
By Angie Landsverk
Trinity Lutheran Church’s new pastor loves the outdoors, motorcycles and being among people.
“I thought it would be a place where I could do some work,” Rev. Bryan Robertson said of his decision to answer the call and come here.
He was installed as Trinity’s lead pastor on Dec. 6.
Robertson grew up on a small farm near Cambridge in west central Illinois.
After he graduated from Cambridge High School, he began his studies at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, planning to become a veterinarian.
By the end of his first year of college, Robertson decided to major in English.
“I found I loved reading,” he said.
Robertson also discovered he liked religion classes.
After he graduated from Augustana College, he went to Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, Minnesota.
His intention was to eventually teach Christian religion at the college level.
Part of the seminary’s teaching included an internship in the church.
That experience resulted in Robertson’s decision to become a pastor.
“I found that I liked it a lot,” he said. “And so the call did not come before the work. The call came after the work.”
He spent an extra year of internship work at the church because he enjoyed it so much.
“Then I went back for my final year of seminary,” Robertson said. “Following that, I was called to a small church in northwestern Illinois.”
He worked there four years and then took some time off to help a friend who ran a large school in Ecuador.
“I lost my mom when I was 25 to Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Robertson said of his decision to take time off from his work in the church.
His mother was 61 when she died, so he decided when he had opportunities to experience things, he would.
Robertson spent eight months in Ecuador and then returned to the seminary for more studies in church history.
“Then, I got another call,” he said.
That one was to First Lutheran Church in Rock Island, Illinois.
Robertson worked there for three years before being called to Decorah Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa.
He was there about 14 1/2 years before being called here to Trinity Lutheran Church.
“Decorah has in many ways the same profile,” Robertson said in regard to the size of Waupaca and the size of Trinity.
He also said his past experiences and rural background are important.
Since he likes to be out among people, Robertson is known to frequent Waupaca’s coffee shops.
He enjoys hunting and hopes to go deer hunting next fall.
Robertson likes to read books about science and anything having to do with the history in the time of Jesus.
He also likes motorcycles and the Chicago Bears and is a collector of watches, clocks and shotguns.
Of the items he collects, Robertson explained how a family member collected those same three items.
He saw the collection when he was young and “thought it was cool,” he said.
The lifetime fan of the Bears likes to joke with those who wear green and gold. He asks if they wear those colors because there are a lot of John Deere dealers around here.
As Trinity Lutheran Church’s new lead pastor, he hopes to “help people find ways to make a difference in their family’s lives, their neighbors’ lives.”
He wants to help people find ways to share God’s love of others through the talents they have been given.
“The mission statement here is ‘Call, equip and send,’” Robertson said. “And that’s a way to boil down some of the things I’m interested in.”