NEW ULM - A pastor, singer-songwriter-composer-producer recently moved to New Ulm to plant the seeds for a new church.
Lake Benton native Lonny Carpenter and his wife Angie bought a century-old brick home on South Broadway and began New Beginnings Assembly of God Church. Services start at 10 a.m. on Sundays at the New Ulm Event Center, 301 20th St. South.
Working construction jobs and operating heavy equipment for 15 years, since the day after he graduated from high school, Carpenter began looking for something else. A passion for gospel music led him to the pulpit.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
New Beginnings Assembly of God Pastor Lonny Carpenter, right, and his wife Angie pose in their New Ulm home.
With a love for creating, producing, singing and playing guitar, he studied theology, became an Assembly of God pastor and established a church in Lake Benton, where he and his wife lived for the past 14 years. The couple recently decided to look for another place to plant a church.
"We prayed about a church and New Ulm came to mind," Carpenter said. "About 20 years ago, our family band did a show here. I was really impressed with the community and everything it had, including all the musicians here. I didn't think I'd have any trouble fitting in."
It should not be any surprise that Carpenter's church services include lots of music.
"We're a full gospel church with lots of music," he said.
Carpenter has cut a number of compact and digital video disks. His music deals with religion, Alzheimer's Disease, World War II, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans.
"I love writing gospel songs about Alzheimer's Disease and about military veterans," he said. "My aunt Pat had Alzheimer's Disease in the mid '60s, so I've had personal experience with a loved one affected by it."
The National Alzheimer's Association was so impressed with Carpenter's song "Please Don't Let Me Forget You," a song inspired by his family's experience caring for his aunt, the organization gave him a plaque and created a music video that included him singing the song.
Carpenter's other hobbies and interests include golfing, bicycling and riding with his wife on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).