New pastor at Augustana and East Sveadahl churches

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer

Augustana and East Sveadahl churches have a new pastor. Pastor Mandy France started as their new pastor on August 15.

France who grew up in Applevalley, was living in Hector where she was serving at Our Saviors Lutheran in Bird Island. France is not the only pastor in her family her husband Kelly is also a pastor. It was Kelly finishing his call and wanting a place with diversity that lead them to the St. James area.

"We were looking to move somewhere with more diversity and wanted to be in a little bit larger of a town then what we were previously in," said France. " Augustana and East Sveadahl were looking for a pastor and it just worked out. My husband is down in Welcome." 

Moving to St. James and being new to the community has been a smooth process for France and her family. She said it has been going great they have been enjoying St. James, the people, and all the town has to offer.

The France Family was in the final steps of adopting their third child from India before they moved to St. James. They were able to push back France's start date at Augustana and East Sveadahl so her and her husband could bring their new son home and get settled a little bit before starting.

 "the church so welcoming and  inviting and they have been super helpful." said France. " We adopted our third child from India and we got back from India on July 18, and so they have been really helpful with that."

Having a strong background working with diverse communities and building relationship between different groups of people she wants to build on that and build off of what the community already has France said,

" I am hoping to do some community outreach here. I have a lot of energy around youth and children, I am hoping to continue to build on that. AES already has the TLC program in place I am hoping to hopefully expand that at some point."

France has gotten to know and gain a friendship Pastor Matt Seegert and David Lick in the community. She wants to build on that and collaborate with them as much as she can.