An agreement has been reached for Pastor Dan Buringrud to serve as spiritual leader of both St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellicottville and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Allegany.
The change will move the time of Sunday worship for both churches; St. Paul’s in Ellicottville will now worship at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings in addition to its 5 p.m. contemporary service on Saturday nights. St. John’s in Allegany will now worship at 11 a.m. on Sundays.
If this arrangement is found successful at the end of a six-month trial, the combined churches will be able to hire a Director of Christian Education to work with children, youth and young families at each church. Officials at the church call the scenario “a win-win situation,” one that will enable both churches to have the leadership they need but cannot afford alone.
“I am very excited to embark on the adventure that awaits the congregations at St. John’s and St. Paul’s and I know that God has great things in store for us,” said Pastor Buringrud. “The potential is enormous and I am determined to help us realize that potential.”
Pastor Buringrud was born in Fairfield, Calif. on July 11, 1964. He received the call after working 19 years as an account executive. He attended Concordia Seminary and was ordained on July 9, 2006.
Pastor Buringrud has served at St John’s in Allegany since January 2012. He currently serves as the chairman of the board for Genesis House, a homeless shelter in Olean. He is also the Circuit Visitor for the Cattaraugus Circuit of the Eastern District of the LCMS.
Pastor Buringrud’s wife, Cheryl, is a physical therapist at Olean General Hospital. They will celebrate their 30th anniversary on Nov. 23. They have three boys: Derek, 24 and Nico, 22, both in college and Danny, 19, a senior at Allegany/Limestone High School.
During St. Paul’s long search for a pastor, they were blessed with Deacons and Lay Ministers who kept the church alive, officials said, adding they are grateful for Pastor laFever and Pastor Mertzluff who have led worship many times and been part of the search process.