Pastor Nathan Hanson

New pastor has been in ministry since 1984

By Chad Koenen


Pastor Nathan Hanson may be the new pastor at Leaf Mountain Lutheran Church, but he is anything but a new face in the community. 

Hanson, who has been a pastor since 1984, took over as the pastor at Leaf Mountain Lutheran Church in May. Prior to serving at the rural Clitherall church, Hanson served at Living the Word Church in Alexandria, Minn., as well as churches across the country, including some in South Dakota, Texas, Idaho and Minnesota.

Through all of their years of serving in the ministry, the Hanson’s found themselves creating a special connection with small and mostly rural congregations. 

“We have been in rural ministry for all of our time,” said Hanson. “We found that we liked having the small church, knowing everyone and having those connections.”

Hanson’s wife, Ruth, was raised on a farm south of Vining and the family spent quite a bit of time visiting family in the area throughout the years. Her parents were the late Sam and Margaret Halverson, who lived south of Vining. 

“Ruth had attended Leaf Mountain for Vacation Bible School so she was familiar with the church,” said Hanson of his wife as a child. 

The Hanson’s built a house on some of her family’s land in 2014 and moved back to the area full time in 2018. Being able to find a church, first in Alexandria and now just a few miles down the road in rural Clitherall, has been a blessing to the family as they look to continue to spread the word of God in the region.

Hanson said a past fundraiser really cemented his belief that Leaf Mountain Lutheran Church was a place he could see himself for years to come. A while back the church held a large fundraiser, and rather than putting money in its own coffers for a rainy day since it didn’t have any specific projects coming up, proceeds from the fundraiser went to another church that was in desperate need of assistance.

“I thought that is how it is suppose to work, if you are set,” he said. “It is to help another church that is up against it.”

The Hanson’s have three adult children. 

Leaf Mountain Lutheran Church is located along County Highway 6, southeast of Clitherall.