Pastor is retiring after 31 years and they're moving to Sauk Rapids Aug. 31

    St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Pastor Bill Reck is retiring after 31 years and his, and wife Jill’s, last day in Crookston will be August 31 as they make the move to their home in Sauk Rapids. This Sunday, August 26, there will be a farewell reception from 2-5 p.m. for the Recks at St. Paul’s.

    Pastor Reck sat down with the Times to share about himself and his family, how he came to be a minister, and what have been some of the most memorable moments of his time in Crookston.

    Jess Bengtson: Tell us about yourself and your family, and how you knew you wanted to become a minister.

    Pastor Bill Reck: “It was late on the night of September 1, 1987, when my wife, Loree, and our children, Samuel (12), Peter (8), Betsy (5) and Matthew (2) arrived in Crookston. The Call Committee had left “a light on.”

    “My children say, “Dad, you are twice blessed!” They say this because though, sadly their wonderful mother, Loree, died on November 23, 2008; in the fall of 2010, their dad married Jill, a wonderful Christian woman, whom dad met 33,000 feet in the air on his way to the Lutheran Seminary in Berkley, California. Jill has 3 married children, Jon, Heather, and Holly. Together we have 7 children, 7 spouses, and 12 grandchildren; mindful that my daughter, Betsy, went to Heaven on March 3, 2017. It was just this week that Jill said, “I wonder what Loree said when she saw Betsy home in heaven with Jesus.”

    Bengtson: How long have you been at St. Paul’s? Memorable moments?

    Pastor Reck: “The love and caring and kindness from the people at St. Paul’s Lutheran has only “grown brighter” through the 31 years I have had the privilege to serve as their pastor. During these years, I have been blessed by each confirmation class, looked forward to Sunday School devotions and Sunday morning preaching, enjoyed youth events, hospital and home visitations and have been honored to participate in 177 weddings, 356 baptisms and 252 funerals.”

    “The greatest privilege has been to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all people: promises of God’s Word such as Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” and 1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, (Jesus) that you may know that you have eternal life.” Knowing that you are at peace with God and knowing that you have Eternal Life - there is no greater knowledge!

    “As our last day in Crookston will be August 31, 2018, Jill and I want to say THANK YOU to the people of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the whole community of Crookston for making Crookston, Minnesota, an awesome place to live! God be with you. Till we meet again, Pastor Bill.”