Exciting things are happening at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Ellicottville and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Allegheny.

An agreement has been made for Pastor Dan Buringrud to serve both St. John’s and St. Paul’s as their spiritual leader. At the end of a six month trial period, if this arrangement is found successful, the combined churches will be able to hire a Director of Christian Education to work with children, youth and young families at each church.  It is a win-win situation, one that will enable both churches to have the leadership it needs 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 Dan. “The potential is enormous and I am determined to help us realize that potential.”

Pastor Buringrud was born in Fairfield, CA 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 Dan has served at St. Johns 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 Dan’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.

Pastor Dan has already won the hearts of members of the congregation with his ability to reach out with loving and meaningful words.

During St. Paul’s long search for a pastor they were blessed with Deacons and Lay Ministers who kept the church alive. St. Paul’s is grateful for Pastor laFever and Pastor Mertzluff who have led worship many times and been part of the search process.

Worship times have changed at each church to make it possible for Pastor Dan to lead worship at both. St. John’s will now worship at 11 a.m. St. Paul’s will hold traditional Sunday morning service at 9 a.m. and its Saturday night service will continue at 5 p.m. with contemporary services.