Wayne 'feels like home' to new pastor


The road to becoming the pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne was not direct for Chad Rademacher.

Pastor Rademacher, an Omaha native, first went to college at Southeast Community College and earned degrees in industrial welding and metal technology.

"It was at that time (1997) that I met my future wife, Sarah. I feel that there was a call (to become a pastor) on my heart at that time, but I did not follow through," Pastor Rademacher said.

Instead, he became a metal fabricator for a welding supply company, got married in August of 1998 and moved to Gretna.

He was later recruited by Linweld and moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The family, which grew to include daughter, Lillie, and son, Ethan, spent the next 12 years in South Dakota.

They moved to Ankeny, Iowa in 2011 where Pastor Rademacher was a regional manager for Linweld. This involved extensive travel.

The desire to become a pastor did not go away and in 2015 he entered Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"I was taking classes in-person and remotely while still working full time. One day Sarah told me that based on the devotional she read that day, it was 'time to get out of the boat and go back to school full-time," Pastor Rademacher said.

In 2017 he gave up his job and took the leap to being a full-time student.

After a year of internship at a church in La Cross, Wisconsin, which was a large congregation and involved living away from his family, Pastor Rademacher graduated from the seminary in January of 2020.

In August of that year, he accepted a position at Holy Trinity Church in Sydney and was excited to be back in Nebraska.

While going through a program known as The Moses Project at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, Pastor Rademacher was asked to apply for a job. His choice was the position at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne.

"I called Bishop Scott Johnson and we discussed the possibility of moving much closer to family. I sent in a site profile on June 30 and on July 7, I got a call from the congregation. They extended a call to come serve the congregation in September and I conducted my first service Saturday, Nov.18," Pastor Rademacher said.

He noted that from the first time he drove into Wayne, the town "feels like home.

Outside of pastoral duties, Pastor Rademacher enjoys cooking, nature in any capacity, fishing riding bicycles and trying new recipes.