Holmes United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor Salmonson

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019 6:00 am

Pastor Rob Salmonson’s passion for rural ministry should serve him well in his new position.

The new leader of Holmes United Methodist Church outside Reynolds, N.D., and Beaver Creek and Trinity Lutheran churches says he already feels at home in the small, country parishes.

“I prefer rural ministry,” he said. “This is what I grew up in and what I’m used to.”

While Salmonson may be new to the area, pastoral work is no stranger to him.

His grandfather was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and that background served Salmonson well through high school in Plankinton, S.D.

He served at his church during his teenage years as a youth representative and had a position on the pastor-parish relations committee.

He also served as a state officer on the Conference Council on Youth Ministry his senior year.

Salmonson, 34, attended college at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. as a criminal justice major before changing his focus toward ministry after his sophomore year.

He graduated in 2008 and entered seminary at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.

While there, he became a student pastor at Deer Park Grace United Methodist Church in St. Joseph, Mo. before being appointed to a position at a large church in Cameron, Mo.

He finished his last year of seminary at Sioux Falls (S.D.) Seminary in 2013.

Since then, he had served as pastor at Methodist churches across South Dakota before taking the Holmes United position.

In addition to Holmes, Salmonson alternates between Beaver Creek Lutheran Church in rural Hatton, N.D. and Trinity Lutheran Church in Sharon, N.D. for Sunday services. 

While the congregations of the churches are small – each church averages around 30 members – Salmonson says there is a big spirit in the rural churches.

“You develop those personal relationships that you just don’t get in large churches,” he said. 

Salmonson also has a passion for mission work and has traveled to Mexico and Tanzania as part of his outreach work.

In addition to numerous faith trips around the country, he has also done immersion ministry work at a prison in Oklahoma.

Salmonson hopes to one day offer similar services at jails in the area.

“I want to extend God’s love to other people and let them know that it’s there at no charge. It’s free,” he said.

Salmonson’s wife, Vicki, and two children – Jaquelin, 5, and Rachel, 2 – also made the journey to rural Reynolds, where they live at the parsonage adjacent to Holmes.

Vicki found a teaching position in the Dakota Prairie school district.

Salmonson said he and his family are excited to become a part of the area and learn about everyone, and Sunday’s service will be his first as Holmes’ new leader.

He doesn’t feel he will change things up too much.

“I just want to see what people do up here, and then we’ll figure out how we can continue in God’s faith and grow in number.”

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