Forehand will be sharing pastoring duties with current pastor, the Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” Stelter, and will be installed during FLC’s worship services at 9 and 11:11 a.m., Sunday, May 16.
Coming to Farragut was “a match made in Heaven,” Forehand said. “We’re looking forward to it.
“I hope to bring some energy, some excitement about how we can be a church in this new time” he added. “I think the pandemic has shown us that people crave community, but they also have found an online experience, where people can gather at will, (which) is also kind of exciting … so helping to kind of finally be able to do both online and in person.
“Most importantly, I hope I will bring a great love for God and a great love for the people of God, too. My ministry is, hopefully, centered in that gift of love we have received from Jesus.”
“I’m excited for the community and the congregation to welcome Pastor Dan,” Stelter said. “I know our congregation and the Farragut community will appreciate him. He’s down to earth, friendly and a dedicated disciple of Christ.
“He leads with enthusiasm and from his heart,” Stelter added of Forehand. “He will be leading some areas of growth for us. Youth and family ministries are important as we want to serve the whole family. Also, evangelism and outreach ministries to keep up with our membership growth.
When working together, “I will take a team approach with Pastor Dan,” Stelter said. “He has an amazing reputation and track record as pastor and mission redeveloper.
“He is gifted and talented,” Stelter added.
Having a pastoring team is well known in the Lutheran church.
“Faith Lutheran Church has a 40-year history of multiple pastors serving together as a team,” Stelter said.
After deciding to acquire a new pastor, “We formed a call committee and began the search for a new pastor to join our staff,” he said.
“There was not much clergy movement in the last year with the pandemic,” Stelter added. “Our synod leadership found Pastor Dan and introduced us in November.
“(Forehand) met with our call committee in December and met with the congregation in January. The congregation voted to call him in February with a unanimous vote.”
Forehand, who started pastoring in June 2014, has been serving at Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhart, Indiana, where he has pastored for seven years.
Feeling the call to move to a new church, he put in his paperwork.
“I’ve done some great ministry here (in Elkhart), but the spirit was calling me to move someplace else,” he said. “I also have a family (wife, Kim, and two daughters, Naomi, 2, and Annika, 1), and we were looking for a place that could help our family to grow, too.”
Forehand added Tennessee also is a better location for them, as he grew up in Florida and Kim grew up in Cincinnati.
“There are 65 synods (ecclesiastical governing or advisory councils) of the (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) across the country,” he said. “(The synods) can read my paperwork and, if they think there’s a church that would be a good fit, they reach out to me.
“(The Southeastern Synod for Tennessee of the ELCA) knew Faith Lutheran was looking for a co-pastor, so when they saw my paperwork come across, they said ‘this might be a good fit,’” Forehand added.
After “the congregation voted to call me, he said, “We very quickly fell in love with Farragut — the natural beauty, the good people and the opportunity for our family to grow.”