Local News

Pastor begins call at Carleton, Davenport churches

Reverend Beth Roegner gave her first sermon as an ordained pastor Sunday at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Davenport and Zion Lutheran Church in Carleton.  

She is from Richmond, Ind., and following her father’s footsteps to the pulpit. 

“I have wanted to be a pastor since I was a little girl,” Roegner said.

She decided to enter the United Lutheran Seminary in Gettsyburg, Pa., with her husband, Jack’s encouragement. Her internship was in West Virginia, and she was ordained in her father’s church, First Lutheran Church in Decatur, Ill., where he served for 66 years. At the time of Roegner’s ordaination, he was 91 years old. 

“That was a neat experience.  Dad draped the Stole over me. I felt like I was getting his blessing,” she said.

When she and Jack moved across the country to Davenport, they had to self-isolate because of Covid-19, however, the congregations immediately made them feel welcome.  

“I couldn’t have had a better welcome from both churches into the community,” Roegner said. “When we were self-isolating, people waved at us and introduced themselves, whether they went to church or not.” 

The couple has two grown children in Indiana. They haven’t seem them for a while because of Covid-19. 

Roegner is pleased to have been matched with the churches. 

“It’s interesting when you feel like you are where you should be,” she said, referencing the history of Christ’s Lutheran founded by Rev. Conrad Huber. Huber went on to serve St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Richmond, Ind., where she was a member. 

“OK, God, this is where you want me to be,” she said. And, she will stay as long as possible because Lutheran pastors aren’t subject to frequent reassignments.

Currently, Jack is working on a master’s degree in rural church ministry studies to add to his master’s degree in Divinity. 

Roegner said her first Sunday service went well. 

She has also occupied herself learning the history of the two churches, and a fire and tornado that destroyed both, respectively, Christ’s Lutheran and Zion Lutheran.