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Zion Lutheran Church calls new pastor to service
4.03 Zion
The Rev. Barbara Koch will be installed as the new pastor of Zion Lutheran Church on Sunday. - photo by Photo provided

The members of Zion Lutheran Church would like to invite you to the ordination and installation of their new pastor, the Rev. Barbara Koch, on April 5 at 4 p.m. at the church.

Koch was born and raised in Pontiac, Mich., but her paternal grandparents were from Jonesboro, Ark., and she has always had a place in her heart for the rural south.  

When she felt the call to become an ordained Lutheran minister, Koch and her husband, Bob, were happy to move to Columbia, S.C., to attend Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.  

On completion of her master of divinity degree in December 2008, she prayed that God would allow her to pastor a church in the south. Her prayer was answered when the church called her to be the pastor at Zion Lutheran.

“I thank God every day for calling me to this active, joyful, spirit-filled community of faith,” she said. “The people of Zion have been passionately serving the community within the shadow of their steeple for over 135 years, and I am privileged to be able to join them on their spiritual journey.
“If you are looking for a church home, I invite you to come and see what God is doing at Zion.”

Prior to beginning seminary, Koch was a hospice social worker. In 2000, she became a certified spiritual director.  

In 2002, she graduated from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., with a master of religious education degree.

She also completed the diaconal minister program that year, and for the next three years, she served as mission developer for a new church start in Newaygo, Mich. It was there that she felt the call to ordained ministry, and returned to seminary in 2005.

She graduated in 2008, and Zion Lutheran is her first call as an ordained minister.

Koch is most grateful for the love and support of her husband, Bob. Together, they have three grown children: Sara, Robert and Jason (Angie) and have two grandchildren, Raven and Eilly.

In her spare time, Koch likes to read mystery novels, write poetry, walk on the beach, river kayak, and take road trips on the back of her husband’s BMW motorcycles.

Zion Lutheran Church is located at the intersection of Highway 17 and Highway 30.  You may call Koch at 728-3430.