Deep Roots

Len and Phyllis both have roots in Zion’s congregation dating back to 1866. Founding members of the Carlslund Lutheran Church (which later became Zion) included Bengt Peterson, an ancestor of Phyllis and Nils Bengtson, an ancestor of Len. Len and Phyllis have known each other since childhood, growing up on almost adjoining farms, attending country school together at the original Carlslund location (now the Zion Cemetery), and Sunday school at Zion in town. Len was confirmed in 1959, and Phyllis in 1962, and they were married by Pastor Cornell in 1967. Pastor Cornell baptized their first child, Carrie, in 1969, and Pastors Blair and Folkerds baptized her three younger brothers, Kirk, Lee, and Jon. All four children were confirmed at Zion, and Len and Phyllis now have seven grandchildren, all members of Zion.

Len and Phyllis have been dairy and crop farmers just south of Buffalo for 42 years.

We get up early – 3:15 am – every morning and work together every day. And we still love each other!

Len has served on Zion’s Property Committee, Memorial Committee, and two terms on the church council. He was chair of the building committee for the present church building which was completed in 1989. Len has also served as the cemetery sexton for 36 years.

Life at Zion is an ever growing family. I feel blessed to be a part of this ministry, both familywise and community-wise.

To many, though, he is most familiar as the head usher for the 8:30 worship service for the last 15 years. Len filled the position when his brother-in-law, Richard Krause, could no longer continue the position due to illness.

I’ve enjoyed it immensely, having the opportunity to visit and talk with many people each Sunday. It’s interesting to see how busy the church is on Sunday morning during the service!

Len retired from ushering after Easter this year, and is now adjusting to worshipping in the pews with his family.

Len has also been active in in farming and community organizations, including Minnesota Milk Producers, Minnesota Select Sires Co-op and the  Discovery Elementary School advisory council. He is currently vice chair of Wright County Community Action. He doesn’t have much time for hobbies, but enjoys woodworking.