Krey Leesman has been putting on quite a few miles in Renville County over the past month, as he gets to know the area and serves three of the area’s Methodist congregations.
As of the end of June, Leesman has been serving the churches in the cities of Olivia and Danube, as well as the rural church known as Middle Creek.
Originally from Illinois, Leesman started his ministry in Minnesota June 30, adding part of the reason why he made the move north was because his wife is from Minnesota. This gives them a chance to be closer to her family.
Leesman, who graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in political science and international studies admitted his initial plan was not to enter the ministry. What started out in pre-law changed, as Leesman discovered the legal field was not where he wanted to be.
An experience at a church camp led him to consider switching to earning a major in education, but he found that was not for him, either. It wasn’t necessarily being around the kids that was appealing to him at camp. It was the opportunity to be involved in ministry.
So, Leesman answered what he believes was the call of God to enter the ministry. He began pursuit of a Master of Divinity, starting his work at Asbury College in Kentucky before transferring to Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
Leesman completed his coursework, was ordained and began his ministry as a pastor in Illinois. He began working with three congregations in northern Illinois and stayed in that role for the next five years.
According to Leesman, pastors in the United Methodist Church denomination are appointed to serve congregations, adding when he and his family opted to move to Minnesota they were transferred from the Illinois conference to the Minnesota conference, and he was appointed to serve in Renville County.
Leesman, who maintains an office in Olivia, said he is used to traveling between churches each Sunday morning for worship, adding the churches he is serving are similar to those where he served in Illinois.
As a pastor, Leesman said he is excited about the opportunity he has been given to serve the churches in the area, adding the churches have demonstrated a willingness to work together to ensure what is best for all of them.
Leesman said he feels one of his strengths is in preaching, adding he enjoys being able to share the word of God with the people.
Feeling that connection with the camp ministry, Leesman said he is looking forward to the chance to spend some time each summer working at Camp Koronis church camp near Paynesville.
Leesman said he believes he offers compassion and empathy to the people he serves, adding he enjoys the chance to meet people and develop relationships with them. He knows that he will be learning right alongside of them during his ministry in this area.
When he is not serving the church, Leesman likes to spend his time outside, especially with his kids. He also enjoys reading and studying.
Leesman is married to Erin and has two children, Ruth Ann, who is 10, and Charles, who is eight. Leesman said he is expecting his third child soon.
Leesman is looking forward to meeting people and sharing God’s word with them.