The Rev. Russel Troester formally took the reins as Resident Pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Santa Ynez on Feb. 11 in an installation ceremony before the congregation and invited guests.
Eleven ministers representing congregations of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod north to Monterrey and south to Malibu, participated in the Laying of Hands ceremony welcoming Troester, a South Dakota native, to the church at the corner of Highway 154 and Edison Street.
Troester, a graduate of the University of South Dakota, is a 2008 graduate of the Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri. He takes over the position held by Rev. Lowell B. Kindschy who retired in December 2016 after 20 years with the congregation.
He comes to Shepherd of the Valley having served two previous congregations most recently in Nebraska. Joining Troester is his wife Kris and four boys, Rome 12, Jack, 9, Sam, 8 and Kal 4. The family is temporarily residing in Santa Ynez while construction is underway on a 1,740 square-foot parsonage on the church campus at 3552 Baseline Road.
“To say that Pastor Troester’s arrival is an answer to prayer is an understatement,” said Congregational President Marv Newton. “Our church family has been involved in a rigorous process of self examination, community study and preparation for welcoming a new minister, combine that with a design and build of a modular residence on the property, our successful Bunkhouse Bonanza Fundraiser and the day-to-day operation of our Parish and you can see our hands were full.”
During the preceding nine months, Shepherd of the Valley was lead and served by Intentional Interim Pastor, Ronald Moritz.
“With Pastor Moritz’s capable leadership and guidance Shepherd of the Valley was well positioned to review several highly qualified candidates and make a credible and well prepared offer to our top candidate who accepted our offer ...." said church member and stewardship Chair “C.J.” Jackson.
Shepherd of the Valley offers worship Services Sundays at 10 a.m. Adult Bible study at 9 a.m. and Sunday School for Children during the worship hour.