Growing up in a Milwaukee, Wis. suburb, Adam Manian heard stories about his ancestors living in Armenia who stood up for their faith.
Yet, when the genocide increased his family members fled to the United States.
Faith has always been an important part of Manian’s life as it has been passed down from one generation to the next. Learning about one’s faith meant Manian would be taught in a Lutheran education setting. When he was in the fifth or sixth grade, Manian was taking catechism classes, and there it was emphasized how important it was to know God’s word.
“They taught us why it was important to study God’s word and how valuable it was for us,” said Manian, adding that stuck with him and helped to determine his future.
Manian is currently serving as the pastor for the St. John Lutheran (Vesta) and Peace Lutheran (Echo) congregations, which is a role he has been in since this past July.
How did he get to Minnesota from Wisconsin?
After graduating from high school, determining his future path was in ministry, Manian began his studies at Martin Luther College in New Ulm. After graduating from college in 2002, Manian attended seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity in 2006.
Soon after Manian was called to serve at a small church in rural Minnesota.
Having spent the majority of his life in more metro surroundings, Manian knew things were going to be different, but what he has discovered in nearly a decade of ministry is that the small-town ministry suits him well.
“I enjoy knowing when I walk down the street I could bump into someone from church,” he said, adding he has experienced the friendly side of small-town life. “That is not necessarily the case in larger communities.”
After spending nine years at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tyler, Manian was called to the Vesta and Echo churches, and he admitted working with two congregations for the first time has been good and challenging.
He is now conducting two services each Sunday morning at churches several miles apart, and with two congregations there are a number of more people who are under his care as a pastor.
Manian has offices in both churches and spends time at both during the week, but, more than that, he is often out and about meeting with people, especially those who are home bound. That has him traveling in a much bigger circle.
Manian said his second congregational call was a unique one, in that he was already familiar with the pastor who had been serving there, Dale Schliewe, and, while his family has moved from one community to the other, they are still in the same region that allows his children to attend the same school and his wife remains working at the same job.
Manian said as a pastor he enjoys studying God’s word and sharing it with the congregations, adding there are so many real-life stories in the Bible that apply to the things going on in the lives of the people he is serving.
“I focus my study heavily on the original languages,” said Manian, adding there are many nuances in studying the Bible as they were first written that can help place the stories and lessons in context.
Manian and his wife, Renee, who teaches language arts to seventh and eighth graders in the RTR School District, have three children, Sam, who is eight, Anna, who is five, and Seth, who is three.
Manian said things have been going very well for him in his new setting, adding the people have been very good to him and his family.
“It is such a joy to see their generosity to me,” he said, adding he is very humbled to be part of these two small, rural community congregations.