Pastor Matthew Moldstad is a fourth-generation pastor from the Mankato area. He was baptized at Bethel Lutheran in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, confirmed at Mt. Olive Lutheran in Mankato, attended high school at Minnesota Valley Lutheran in New Ulm, and went to college at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. In 2002, he joined the United States Navy and graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, in 2003. From 2004 to 2006, he was stationed as a Hebrew Linguist at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. He returned to Bethany in 2006, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and a Master of Divinity degree at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Pastor Moldstad vicared under Pastor Herb Huhnerkoch in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2011. (Interestingly, Pastor Hartwig and Pastor Moldstad are the only vicars to serve under Pastor Huhnerkoch.) He was installed and ordained as pastor of Peace Evangelical Lutheran in Kissimmee, Florida, on January 1, 2012. He served as pastor there from January 2012 to May 2017. He has been serving as a pastor at Peace Evangelical Lutheran in North Mankato since June 2017.
Pastor Moldstad married Joni Dukleth, his college sweetheart, in 2004. Joni is from Luverne, Minnesota, and is the daughter of the late Pastor John Dukleth. The Moldstads have five children.
Reverend Tim Hartwig was born and raised in Queensland, Australia, and grew up on a small farm outside the town of Gympie. His parents raised him with good Christian example, to which Pastor Hartwig attributes much of his desire to serve Christ’s church. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) in 1993, he worked in underground gold mines in Western Australia. Though he enjoyed the hard physical labor and the financial rewards, an important part of him was left unfulfilled. In August 1997, he entered Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. The summer of 2000 saw big changes in his life. On June 3, he married Katie nee Quist. Four weeks later, they moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where he started serving Our Saviour Lutheran Church and School and Family of God Lutheran Church, Bullhead City, Arizona, as a Vicar. On June 24th, 2001 he was ordained and installed as the Pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu City. What began as a 12-month Arizona adventure turned into 11 years of service.
In June 2011, Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Mankato called Pastor Hartwig to be their Pastor. The Holy Spirit led him to accept the call and he was installed on August 14.
Pastor Hartwig and Katie have been blessed with seven children. He loves seeing them grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We asked Pastor Hartwig, “What do you like most about being a Pastor?” He responded:
“I love telling people about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if they have never heard it before or if they have been a Christian all their life. When people believe that in Jesus their sins are forgiven, peace is shared. The circumstances don’t matter, either. Whether at a baptism, a wedding, the hospital bed, or a funeral, people receive peace from Jesus. In every stage of life, we need to be assured that God loves us and has forgiven us in Jesus. It’s my job to point people to Him. It is the best job in the world!”