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St. Paul's Evangelical - Portland Ave.

Address:1901 Portland Avenue South
Baptized Membership:560
Confirmed Membership:385
Average Sunday Attendance:120
Paid Staff:Senior Pastor
Associate Pastor
Music Director
College Program (U4C) Director
MissionShift Program Director
Access to Public Transit:Situated between several major downtown routes
Congregation Description:St. Paul's is a 140 year old legacy congregation that is experiencing rebirth in a renewing neighborhood. Just south of downtown, in the Ventura Village urban core neighborhood, where gunshots and crack dealing was the norm, a new more stable neighborhood is emerging and St. Paul's is passionately involved.

St. Paul's is as truly evangelical congregation, from the low-church Hauge tradition. St. Paul's re-committed itself to the city when its building was taken by freeway construction, and unlike over 300 congregations that moved to the 'burbs, St. Paul's stayed. It has since built an international reputation with its MissionShift Institute (formerly School of Urban Ministry)(www.MissionShift.org) its college degree program in urban studies (www.U4C.org) and its video series for congregational use (www.MissionShift.org)

St. Paul's has a deep commitment to Luther's program; in the past 24 years, Pastor Wells has worked with 63 Contextual Leadership students and four interns.

St. Paul's has been a clear, grace-filled evangelical voice in the ELCA for decades, and has recently co-related itself to the LCMC organization.

About one third of St. Paul's congregation lives within three miles of the church, another third lives within the next three miles, and the other third live across a 60-mile circle from Eagan, Lakeville, Shakopee, Chanhassan, Maple Plaine and Roseville.

St. Paul's worship is blended and low-church, with an emphasis on lay involvement. Having St. Paul's as a Teaching Parish will mean meeting weekly with Pastor Wells for talks on a revolving four-year curriculum of practical ministry topics, getting you ready for a successful internship. It is an intense opportunity to integrate your studies into the "real world" of parish ministry, with personal mentoring. And we laugh a lot. Our job is to help lift you through the many hoops you will be forced to jump through in the next four years.

St. Paul's is the opposite of a mega-church. It's a great example of a well-run, deeply committed, evangelical congregation that is making a wonderful impact locally and internationally.

Congregation Keywords:Evangelical, grace, conservative, urban, cross-cultural, cross cultural, multicultural, close, mentor

Mentor Pastor: Roland Wells

Years in Ordained Ministry:33
Years in Current Position:24
Previous Students Supervised:63
Autobiography:I grew up in Little Canada/Roseville MN. I have a strong background in music, playing professionally for many years.

I have spent my ministry rebuilding and re-visioning ministries. I have a strong interest in grace-filled, creative, contextual ministry. Our cross-cultural educational programs define the global cutting edge of education for that kind of ministry.

I have served in country, exurban, suburban and urban congregations; I have been at St. Paul's since 1988. I have built several levels of education programs in urban and cross-cultural education, based on St. Paul's.

God has been very faithful to our family and congregation. We have two sons, 29 and 31. One is a lawyer, the other an MBA construction manager. Both are married and active in their congregations.

Brenda, my wife is a teacher in a multi-cultural school in the St. Paul district, where she has taught for 25 years.

Hobbies include anything dealing with the woods and outdoors. Creativity and entrepreneurship in ministry is important to me. At the same time, ministry means being a decent pastor/scholar. Warning: I love puns. We welcome you to St. Paul's!