Local pastor retires after 35 years of service in Blaine

Published on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 by Anna Atkinson and Kelly Sullivan

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Dennis Wildermuth, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Blaine, is retiring next week after 35 years of service. An honorary potluck will be held on Sunday, June 24, after his last service. Photo by John Liebert.

Blaine resident Dennis Wildermuth, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, will retire next week after 35 years of ministry at the church.

His last service will be Sunday, June 24, at 9:30 a.m., followed by a special farewell potluck luncheon and barbecue.
Wildermuth said he and his wife Gail will start their retirement by traveling to the “lands of the Bible,” Israel, Turkey and Greece.

“I’ve been privileged to be invited into people’s lives at very important parts of their lives,” he said. Wildermuth said he has many memories of his ministry in Blaine, where his daughter and son, Amy and Jason were raised.

Wildermuth became pastor of the church in 1980 when two separate Lutheran churches merged together as Grace Lutheran Church. His original parish was Faith Lutheran Church in Seaside, Oregon.

Wildermuth started the Community Assistance program in the 1990s and managed it for about ten years.

The program, which was sometimes also called “the hardship fund,” helps low-income families pay for food, medicine and bills.

Wildermuth said he has greatly enjoyed ministry, but will enjoy his retirement and the luxury of not having any deadlines or pressure. Retired pastor Dennis Conrad will serve as Grace Lutheran's pastor for one year, or until a replacement can be found.