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Upon graduation from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in May of 1988, Karl Kruse lived in Salt Lake City, where he volunteered his time at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, while at the same time interviewing with congregations throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA.
In Elim's 100th year, Karl W. Kruse began his first ministry on June 1, 1989.
He was ordained on June 11 at his home congregation of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota, and returned to Ogden as Pastor Kruse the following Sunday.
His installation was held June 25.
Pastor Kruse served as the Vice President of the St. Anne's Center for the homeless.
was also requested by Bishop Alan Bjornberg to serve on the newly formed Rocky Mountain Synod Worship Committee
, and did so for eight years.
In 1995, Pastor Kruse
was invited by the ELCA
to lead "Alternative Worship" workshops at the ELCA Global Mission Event held in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Working very closely with Elim's Worship and Music staff, he
was also asked by congregations throughout the state and elsewhere to help teach how to effectively implement new styles of worship into congregational life.
Pastor Kruse also served on the Rocky Mountain Synod Candidacy Committee.
In the fall of 2000, Pastor Kruse
extended Elim's ministry by becoming involved internationally in the leading and teaching of prayer and prayer ministries.
In 2002, at the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly in Salt Lake City, Pastor Kruse's
wife Nancy was elected to serve on the Synod's Congregational Ministries Board.
She also served as the Executive Director of Community of Churches in Utah.
Throughout Pastor Kruse's
ministry, the membership of Elim
and attendance at worship services continued to decline.
By 2005, baptized membership stood at 260, and confrimed membership at 207.
An average of 64 people attended worship services, and Sunday School attendance, including both children and adults, was an average of 24, the lowest figures since 1944.
Giving per confrimed member, however, stood at an all-time high.
In October 2005, Pastor Kruse
accepted a call as Associate Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church
in Hutchinson, Minnesota.