For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Meet Pastor Teklu Ketema!
My name is Teklu Ketema. I was born into a farmer’s family in the central highlands of Ethiopia. I grew up in an Orthodox clergy family. When I was three years oId, my biological father was imprisoned by a communist government. I received Jesus’ gift of salvation in High School then joined a Lutheran congregation in Ethiopia. My family rejected me due to my desire to focus on school rather than chores and because of my Lutheran Christian faith. God provided me with a foster family and opened job opportunities with missionaries while I was in college. God used the life and value of Western missionaries that I worked with to influence the forming of my identity and values.
Even through the ups and downs of my life, God has been preparing me for ministry since childhood. I studied Theology and Business Administration in college. If a class from Theological College has changed my whole life focus, it was a New Testament class on the Gospels of Jesus Christ. One of my professors paused his lecture and asked the class, “If Jesus Christ was walking in the streets of your city, who would He spend time with? If Jesus Christ was living in your city, what job offer would He take?” The professor said that all the celebrities in our city that everyone would love to spend time with would not be His priorities; Jesus would spend time with the poor, both physically and spiritually. Jesus would be the Ambassador of God’s Kingdom to your city and would be doing the “Great Commission” and the "Great Command”. He challenged us to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ to build God’s kingdom that He started in His death and resurrection. In those classes, God showed me clearly what I should do for the rest of my life: the "Great Commission” and the “Great Command”. I realized that there is no better job for me to do on earth!
When I graduated from Theology College, I started a holistic ministry in one of the slums of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. I was pleasantly surprised that I found myself doing exactly what my professor challenged us with for eight years, the Great Commission and the Great Command. In the meantime, I served a couple of terms in the elder’s office, my Congregation.
In 2007, I met my wife who was one of the volunteers from the United States in a slums’ project. After we got engaged, I moved to the United States in 2008 to get married. God blessed us with two children: Jonah (11) and Selah (9). My family joined Cary Mekane Yesus Lutheran Church/LCMS, where we got married, and our children got baptized. I served as a secretary of elders for two terms, and my wife was a Sunday School teacher. My wife and I agreed with the Lord to shepherd his flock in 2015, thus I joined Concordia Seminary in 2016. I was a member and Seminarian fieldworker at Timothy Lutheran Church in Saint Louis from 2016-2020, and was a vicar at Salem Lutheran Church, Affton, MO, in 2018/19. I graduated in May 2020 with a Master of Divinity.
My family and I are excited about the call I received to the Office Ministry by St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
We are looking forward to worship and serve our God with our new family of faith in Crofton/Gambrills.
“…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
Faith, Hope, Love...
Pastor Teklu Ketema