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For this family, ‘Son’day is a day of work

When it comes to passing down the family occupation, the Rev. Bertram Naumann seems to know best.

After all, four of Naumann’s six sons are pastors.

The Naumanns reunited last week at the annual Pastoral Conference of the Church of the Lutheran Confession at Immanuel Lutheran College.

Last month James Naumann became the fifth “Pastor Naumann” in the family and the fourth brother to graduate from seminary at Immanuel Lutheran.

James joined Paul, David, and Bruce Naumann in the pastoral occupation.

Some might assume the sons were pressured to become pastors.

But Bertram wanted his boys to “use God’s gifts to excel at whatever we chose to do,” Bruce said. “We recognize that it is the Lord who really issues that call.”

“I almost encouraged my children in the opposite way,” Bertram says.

The Naumann family seems determined to fulfill the call that has been in the Naumann family for generations.

Bertram’s grandfather, Justus, immigrated from Germany in the late 1800s and served in Lutheran congregations.

Bertram’s father, Paul, was also a Lutheran minister until he died of heart failure in his early 40s.

“I never met my grandfather, but I know he had the gospel at heart,” Paul said. “That gave me a strong desire to pick up the torch and carry on the work of proclaiming God’s forgiveness in Christ.”

Bertram and his wife, Alice, of Seattle, Wash., have raised eight children — six sons and two daughters.

The Naumanns serve in congregations across the United States.

Their oldest son, Paul, serves Ascension Lutheran Church in Du Pont, Wash. David is pastor at Holy Truth Lutheran Church in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Bruce graduated from seminary in 1990 and leads Faith Lutheran Church in Markesan. James accepted a pastoral position in Lamar, Colo., and will move there later this month.

Bertram’s daughters, Ann and Gail, have served churches by teaching.

Sons Thomas and Steven chose different vocational paths. Thomas is a restaurant manager in Seattle, and Steven is a pharmacy technician in Eau Claire.

The Naumann brothers hope to continue the pastoral service tradition through the next generation. However, they plan to follow their father’s example by not twisting any arms.

The Naumanns agreed that the mission statement for their next generation is simple: “If the Lord has need of them in public ministry, He will seek them out.”

–Reprinted, with permission, from the Sunday, June 22, 1997 Eau Claire Leader-Telegram; article by Christa Farris; photo by Jeff Thompson.