The Western Region of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren is a group of congregations in the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We have 21 churches in these four states and another that has applied for membership in the CLB..
More than half of the congregations are in North Dakota. One of the biggest issues in these churches is the vast distance between them with some being more than 200 miles from the next CLB congregation. This puts limits on how often these churches and pastors can get together. Another issue is that of the shrinking of rural America. Some of the small towns in these areas are shrinking as the farms grow larger. This has been offset lately with the drilling of oil wells in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Half of the congregations in this region would be small town or rural congregations with most of the rest being in communities of 100,000 or fewer. This sets us apart from much of America.
For the most part ministry in this area still reflects traditional church ministry in America. That is changing as our culture continues to change, but those cultural changes come slower to rural and mid-America than to the major cities and coasts. There are in most of these congregations a self-reliance and strong sense of family that makes them very stable and strong. The congregations of this region seek to bring Jesus Christ to their neighbors while building a strong foundation of faith in those who already come.
Chaplain Kenneth Austin, 76, of Underwood, MN died Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Ken was born on December 11, 1938, in Minot, ND. On February 15, 1959, he married Mavis Field in Minot, ND. As a layperson Ken participated in Church of the Lutheran Brethren church plants in Dickinson, ND and Bismarck, ND. In 1987 he
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