Editor’s note: Pastor James Shrader recently joined the CLC by colloquy. We requested some biographical information which would introduce him to our readers. We heartily welcome the Shrader family into our wider church family!
Pastor James Shrader is the third of six children born to Gilford and Gwendolyn Shrader in Newark, Ohio. His mother and three of the children have been involved in the field of music as a profession. Between 1967 and 1971 Jim was a member of the O. S. U. Marching Band, a tubist in the Symphony, the Brass Ensemble, and principle tubist in the Concert Band. Jim also played trombone and bass professionally in trio, quartet, and big band ensembles.
After graduation Jim taught instrumental music in the public schools as well as teaching privately. Later Jim entered the ministry. It was through the LCA that he first enrolled in Hamma School of Theology (the year it consolidated with the ALC’s Lutheran Theological Seminary at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio). After many doctrinal debates with students and faculty alike, Jim enrolled in the M. Div. program at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1980).
At Concordia Jim sang tenor in the seminary choir and played in the brass ensemble. While gaining practical experience at a field work church in St. Louis, Jim met Christine Gaebler who was later to become his wife. He left the Missouri Synod after serving as a pastor in Charlotte, N.C. Seeking out fellowship, Jim and Christine joined the WELS and soon after began the colloquy process for the public ministry in that synod.
After going to Mequon, Jim eventually was called to be an exploratory pastor in the upper Ottawa valley in Ontario. After four years there he resigned his call and returned to Columbus, Ohio with his wife and three children: John Mark (born in St. Louis), Kurt Walther (born in Charlotte, NC, and Katie (born in Pembroke, Ontario). The Shrader family soon started worshiping with the Tiefels, Paul Sr. and Virginia, while in Columbus. They found out about this faithful couple through Gregory Jackson (who himself was to leave WELS and be a CLC pastor) and through Pastor Mark Bernthal of Saginaw. Pastors Bernthal and Roland Gurgel served the CLC families in the greater Columbus area. Pastor Leroy Dux, who presently serves this area, and also Mark Bohde helped Jim in his decision to enter colloquy with the CLC.
It was the Holy Spirit, working through the Word as read in Scripture and spoken by the various people along the spiritual journey of the Shrader family, Who sustained them and led them into the church fellowship they have sought in the CLC. Pastor Shrader, not long after his colloquy, was called and installed as pastor of Berea Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD on August 20, 1995.
The Shraders thank the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ, for blessing them with the warm fellowship they have found at Berea and throughout the CLC.