About Me

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We are beggars.. this is true
Martin Luther

I have been the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church since 1999 after serving two congregations in rural Iowa for eight years. I grew up in California, Utah, and Minnesota.  I attended Highland High School in Salt Lake City, UT and graduated from Marshall-University High School (Class of 79) in Minneapolis.

I went to college at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota where I majored in Social Work. After college I graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have also continued my graduate studies at Iowa State University, and the Family Therapy Training Institute/Aurora Family Service of Milwaukee. Somewhere in the middle of all that I also worked with teens at the St. Joseph’s Home for children (Runaway Shelter), served as a flight medic (E4) in the Army National Guard/Reserve, Navy Reserve Chaplain Corps (O3), and as an EMT-B.

I met my wife, Gail, at a “First Nighter” event at St. Olaf College. Dr. Gail Vojta has a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, and currently teaches at Carroll University in Waukesha. Gail also teaches Sunday School, and volunteers with the Love Inc meal program. Gail and I have two sons. David, who is a graduate of  Gateway Technical College who works for Quad Graphics,  and Joel, who is senior at Concordia University of Wisconsin majoring in Computer Science. Together Gail and I like to  hike, camp, travel, read, and laugh.

I am also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). I do some short term counseling with couples, families that are having concerns about their kids, and occasionally with men who struggle with issues of stress or anger. My preference is to work with people who are uninsured. I will be glad to meet with any couple or family for pastoral care or crisis intervention, but my policy is to refer most people to one of the several excellent psychotherapists in this area.

One of my many hobbies is Genealogy. Vojta is a Czech name. My Czech ancestors were Catholics from the area of Podoli/Prachatice in Bohemia who settled in Wilbur Nebraska around the turn of the century. We know very little about this side of the family since my grandfather and his siblings were raised on the Nebraska State orphanage, and he dreaded talking about his childhood.  My grandma Vojta’s (Goslen) family has lines going back before the colonial period that include: Welsh Quakers; Reformed Christians from Switzerland and the Netherlands; Scottish Covenanters/Presbyterians from the Isles of Mull and Bute; Irish Catholics from Donegal, Letterkenny, and Antrim; Prussian adventures from Konigsburg/NW Russia; Patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War; freed African slaves from Tennessee/Virginia (Melungeons?); early members of the Mormon Church (LDS).

My mother’s was a Voldahl. My grandmpa Voldahl’s family were Lutherans from the area around Balestrand, Årdal, and Lærdal  in the Sogn og Fjordane region of Norway. My grandma Voldahl’s ancestors (Berg/Meyer) were Reformed Baptists who came from the Ostfriesland region of Germany, across the border with the Netherlands. If you have German or Norwegian ancestors who settled in the area around Albert Lea, Austin, Blue Earth, or Wells in Southern Minnesota, or across the border in Northern Iowa, then we are probably cousins. For those who are into DNA, my Gedmatch profile is  A313317

If you are adoptee looking for connections please call me ASAP/24/7/365. Let’s figure this thing out!