‘OK God, you have me’
Assuming lots of pastoral-type duties at her rural, southeastern Wisconsin church gave Sue Froelich a desire to be a pastor.
"God kept working on me through other people to become a pastor," Pastor Froelich says.
It was her 4-year old nephew who many years ago encouraged her to "go to Jesus school." She did just that, going to seminary at Wartburg College in Dubuque, Iowa.
"OK, God you have me now," Froelich smiles widely with pride of choosing to become a Lutheran pastor.
Froelich is now interim pastor at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, located seven miles south of Blooming Prairie in Mower County.
She succeeds Pastor Lindsay Stolen. The Red Oak Grove Church Council is now working with the Southeastern Minnesota Synod to determine which direction to go in selecting a pastor, either a full-time pastor or a sharing proposition.
Pastor Froelich grew up on a small dairy farm near Rome in southeastern Wisconsin. Rome is located, not in Italy, but half way between Milwaukee and Madison with less than 400 population.
After graduating from a consolidated school district, Jefferson High School, she attended Iowa State University in Ames and earned a bachelor’s degree in micro biology.
Her schooling led her to work with a Dairy Herd Improvement organization. She was part of a team who took milk samples after a 24-hour period to develop history on a dairy herd.
She worked on her family dairy farm at the same time, from the mid-1980s to 1997.
She also worked in a factory owned by Briggs & Stratton. She worked in the generator section. "I wasn't enthralled with working in a factory," Froelich confesses.
During her time at the factory, she took an opportunity to work at a farmers market.
She then also became very active in her church, serving as an organist, teaching Sunday School, teaching confirmation and serving on Altar Guild and Worship and Music committees.
That's when her nephew, 4 years old at the time, urged her to go to Jesus school. Froelich also credits her pastor at her Wisconsin home church for convincing her to go to seminary at Wartburg. He was an alumni of Wartburg.
Her seminary schooling spanned a time frame from 2006 until 2010 when she graduated.
Her first pastoral call came from Calvary Lutheran Church of Rapidan, Minn., located just south of Mankato. She accepted and served this rural church of 250 for just over six years.
Froelich then took a year leave, after which she accepted the interim call in October from Red Oak Grove. She will not be a candidate for the next pastoral position at Red Oak, she says.
Froelich said she loves the people of the Red Oak Grove community. "The people are so friendly here," she says. She recently delivered the Thanksgiving message at an ecumenical church service held prior to Thanksgiving at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie.
She currently resides in Good Thunder, south of Mankato near Mapleton.
When not assuming pastoral duties, Froelich tries to find time to read and do jigsaw puzzles. "I like murder mysteries," she says.
Froelich also loves to cook, making bread, soups and chili. "I learned to make pies, cakes, breads and cookies from scratch and that comes from my German heritage, she admits.
If desiring a church visit, she encourages people to call the church office at 507-583-2038.