Rev. Earl Werner will be recognized for his many years of dedicated service in the community. Rev. Werner came to Paynesville just before his 25th birthday to serve the Salem and Ebenezer EUB Churches in 1945 after graduating from college.
ďAt first I was going to go to a farm school but God kept calling me to be a minister,Ē Rev. Werner said. ďI had a personal battle going on within me but God won and I entered the ministry.Ē
ďI was appreciative of being assigned a rural church since I had a rural background,Ē Rev. Werner said. ďI had developed a good relationship with the parish and was glad I could stay as long as I could,Ē he added.
When he first came to Paynesville, the two churches alternated their service times, one week Salem was at 9:30 a.m. and the next 11 a.m. After a while the 9:30 a.m. time slot was assigned to Ebenezer and 11 a.m. to Salem.
Rev. Werner served at the two-parish charge from 1945 to 1960. During that time, he also served as the Camp Koronis director. ďAt that time, Koronis was the number one camp of the EUB conference and had between 800 and 900 kids a summer.Ē
From 1960 to 1963, Rev. Werner was the associate pastor at Grace Church in Minneapolis during the fall and winter months and Camp Koronis administrator from June to August.
In 1963, Pastor Werner and his family moved to the Pipestone/Jasper area; in 1968 to Eyota. In July 1974, they returned to Paynesville as the business manager of the Assembly Grounds. He served in that position 13 1/2 years.
Upon his retirement in December 1987, he took over the visitation pastor position at the Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville which he held until Dec. 31, 1991. In 1992, he assumed the chaplain position at the Paynesville Area Health Care System.
ďI have enjoyed knowing the people of Paynesville from one generation to the next, seeing families carry on traditions,Ē he said.
Rev. Werner and his wife, Eileen, have two children: Mark is a pastor at Jordan and New Prague, and Renee is a physical therapist in Coon Rapids. The couple have four grandchildren.
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