Pastor, family happy to call Basehor home
From businessman to reserve Topeka police officer, Robert Weinkauf has enjoyed his past occupations.
But, he said a higher power called him to perform his newest duties as pastor of St. Martin Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, in Basehor.
"Since childhood I've had thoughts of being a pastor," the Topeka native said. "The Lord has blessed me with awards through working with two different Fortune 500 companies and as a reserve police officer for 10 years in Topeka. And, I was happy with those past vocations, but I believe the Lord has called upon me and wants me to be a servant in his flock."
A graduate of Washburn University, Weinkauf moved with his wife Jodi and two children Katlyn, 14 and Kaleb, 10 to Fort Wayne, Ind., to study at Concordia Theological Seminary in 2003. After four years, he graduated with a master's degree this past spring and was placed with St. Martin Lutheran Church in Basehor. He was ordained July 1 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Topeka, then installed at the church in Basehor July 8.
"There was a placement service that I went through in which they could have sent me anywhere from North Dakota to Texas," he said. "I'm very thankful to be back in Kansas."
This is a special time for the church, Weinkauf said, in that the congregation has not had its own pastor for probably the past 15 years. It had previously been served by retired pastors from the Kansas City area on an as needed basis, but the congregation had made it a goal to start the process of calling their own pastor about a year ago, Weinkauf said. Founded in 1908, the church will now be able to celebrate not only its centennial, but the achievement of a long term goal.
Weinkauf said he is looking forward to carrying out his pastoral duties and being there to share the many joys and celebrations of life as well as the tears and sorrows of life with the people of the congregation.
"The people are really excited about having their own pastor," he said. "Someone who is here working with them and working for them."
The congregation is also excited about possibly expanding the church and ministry in the future. With about 100 members, Weinkauf said the church is at a crossroads with many surrounding communities and has a future vision of expanding its current facility to accommodate larger membership.
"God doesn't measure church success by growth in numbers, but faithfulness in God's word," he said. "Any growth is credited to the Holy Spirit."