The Rev. Craig Johnson to Lead Mount Olivet Lutheran Church

Posted on June 28th, 2011 by

The Rev. Craig Johnson '69

The Rev. Craig Johnson, a 1969 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, has decided to resign his position as Bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to accept the position of Interim Senior Pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

In a letter addressed to the brothers and sisters of the Minneapolis Area Synod, Johnson said: “After much prayer, family conversation, and consultation with Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, I have decided to resign from the Office of Bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod. With deep humility, I wish to thank you for the countless kindness and the honor you bestowed upon me at my election in 2001.”

Johnson was elected bishop in 2001 and was then re-elected in 2007 to a second six-year term, which was set to end in 2013. Johnson will begin his new duties at Mount Olivet on Aug. 1, taking over for the Rev. Paul Youngdahl ’59, who died unexpectedly on Monday, June 20 of a thoracic aneurysm.

Over the span of roughly eight decades, Youngdahl and his father, Reuben Youngdahl, helped to build Mount Olivet into the largest ELCA congregation in the country.

This will be Johnson’s second stint at Mount Olivet as he served the congregation as an associate pastor from 1977 to 1991.

“Rarely do pastors receive an opportunity to give back to a congregation later in life that has so profoundly shaped their ministry,” Johnson said in his letter. “Rarely are we able to honor the legacy of a friend, mentor, and colleague.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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