2018-04-01 / Insight

New Christ the King Lutheran pastor hopes to help community

810-452-2601 • npugliese @mihomepaper.com

Ken Greble, 57, will assume full-time pastorship of Christ The King Lutheran Church in Lapeer following graduation from seminary in May. 
Photo by Nicholas Pugliese Ken Greble, 57, will assume full-time pastorship of Christ The King Lutheran Church in Lapeer following graduation from seminary in May. Photo by Nicholas Pugliese LAPEER — Pastor Ken Greble, of Christ The King Lutheran Church on 911 Baldwin Rd. in Lapeer, is technically an intern. Greble, 57, will graduate from Trinity Lutheran Seminary on May 19 and become the small church’s full-time pastor, and he’s ready to get to know Lapeer.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Greble spent many years in business and restaurant management before he heard the call. He said he was on a business trip, staying in corporate lodging, when he heard it. “I heard my name, and I knew it was God,” he said. “After that, I never was able to do business the same way again, I didn’t have that drive.”

Greble has two adult daughters, and his wife Diane has been a pastor in Fowlerville for 14 years, where the couple reside. Greble is currently finishing out a two-year internship program as part of his seminary studies with Christ The King Lutheran. He said that originally, he had no plans to be a mission development pastor, but since starting his internship, he’s discovered he’s got a passion, and a knack, for community building. “That reaching out into the community, that’s become my passion,” he said.

Greble has been helping develop a partnership between Christ The King Lutheran and Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Clarkston, and he’s ready to get to know the needs of the people of Lapeer. Aiding the homeless, he said, is another passion of his, and has experience working with the Love INC branch of Manistee. “I really look forward to getting to know Lapeer. It seems like a great community,” he said.

Greble said that like many church congregations throughout the area, Christ The King is struggling to maintain membership and attract the younger generations. “That’s one of the challenges the church faces, that tail-off of youth,” he said. “But church is a cool place because it teaches kids not only about Jesus Christ but about being a part of a community as well.” Greble added that “all are welcome at our church, and that really means ‘all.’”

Raised Roman Catholic, Greble said that after his fateful business trip on which he heard his calling, he spent time becoming reacquainted with faith, and found that the Lutheran variety of faith was where he belonged. “I really came out on the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) side of theology,” he said. “There should be no walls between us and God.”

Currently, as his internship winds down and ordination in June looms, Greble has been reaching out to other local church officials and community organizations to see how best he can serve the Lapeer area. He’s also planning to hold Easter services at the Devonshire Retirement Village in Lapeer. “I’m just providing some of those services to people who can’t get to the church,” he said.

Community involvement, he said, is a cornerstone of how he envisions his pastorship will go.

“Part of our faith is that we live in a community,” he said. “Pulling together how to talk to the community, about how to talk about the hard subjects.” Greble said he’s not sure if he’ll move to Lapeer, and is currently staying part-time at the St. Augustine’s House in Oxford, a Lutheran monastery and only one of its kind in North America. And now that his studies are almost complete, he said he’s right where he wants to be. “It’s interesting to me, coming from having a head in business, but I always wanted to be a priest,” he said. “Because they got to be with God, and to me, that’s where love is.”

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