John and Jan Kilde

Contact Pastor John at 651.328.1534 or

Pastor Kilde writes:

Oct. 16, 1936 I was born in Fergus Falls, MN. to John and Clara Kilde; the seventh of seven children.  I was baptized into Jesus Christ a month later. Though it was my good fortune to have godly Christian parents, I knew I needed to personalize the "faith of my fathers" and did so early on.  One one occasion of spiritual anxiety and searching, my mother shared with me John 6:37, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."  Besides the influence of my home, there were two other factors which impacted me spiritually:  Bethel Lutheran Church and Hillcrest Academy.  Rev. Everald Strom, my brother-in-law became a surrogate father and counselor to me after my dad died suddenly when I was 16 years of age.

As far as my education is concerned, here's the "map", Fergus Falls public schools, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, University of MN. (BA in history with a minor in German); Lutheran Brethren Seminary (M.Div.); Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.) After finishing seminary I taught English and history at Hillcrest for three years.  Most of my career however, was spent as a professor of New Testament and practical Theology at Lutheran Brethren Seminary..(28 years full-time; seven part-time).  I also have spent fifteen years as a parish pastor (Brooklyn, N.Y.'; Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; Fergus Falls, MN).  I have done two interim pastorates as well in Alexandria, MN. and LeSueur, MN.

Down time will find me reading biographies of American Presidents, golfing or watching sporting events....either live on on TV. Since Janet, my wife of 36 years has told you about our children.

Who is Jan?

I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1947 and lived much of my life in New Jersey.  As a sixth grader, the Holy Spirit showed me my sinfulness while my pastor preached on the 10 commandments.  He said, "If you've broken one of the commandments it's as if you've broken them all.....just one sin could keep you out of heaven."  I knew I had broken many commandments and I cried my heart out that day asking God to forgive my sins and to be my Saviour.   But, into my college years, I neglected the Lord, and had some very difficult days. In my early 20's,  once again, I experienced the faithfulness of God and asked Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit....I didn't want to be living the lukewarm Christian life.  And He passion still is to encourage daily reading of God's Word......the living and active Word of God.  I daily ask the Lord to guide my time and make me a useable vessel for His glory.

Backtracking a bit......I grew up in New Jersey, attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. where I received a BA in Physical Education and Health and my MA in School Counseling from Montclair State University in New Jersey. I have taught physical education at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, as well as public schools in New Jersey and the King's College in NY. I also served as a school counselor for many years at Hillcrest as well as Battle Lake Public Schools. I loved my work with the "kids", but due to health reasons I needed to quit my job in Battle Lake in 2003.

I married John in 1972 and was a "pastor's wife" in Briarcliff Manor, NY and Bethel Lutheran in Fergus Falls and a seminary professor's wife for about 38 years. I really enjoy being together in a "helping" capacity with my husband. We have four children: Becki Ysteboe, Kristin Runzel (married to Brian), Debi and Johnny and one very precious grandson, Andrew Ysteboe, 6 1/2 years old.

My spare time is spent reading....; often while on my "eliptical".; I also enjoy being with old friends and making new ones.I look forward to being part of your congregation.......after I was unable to work...the Lord opened up the opportunity to have several women's Bible studies in my home.......what a privilige!!! (And it also motivates me to keep my house clean.)