Rev. Zane Anderson has lived in the Spring Grove community for 21 years, a native of Cannon Falls.SGH/Buxengard
Rev. Zane Anderson has lived in the Spring Grove community for 21 years, a native of Cannon Falls.

Pastor Zane Anderson has been selected for the honor of Grand Marshal at this year's Syttende Mai celebration parade, which will take place on Saturday, May 18.

"I was surprised but also thrilled and honored with their invitation to be parade marshal," Anderson stated about the honor.

Rev. Anderson grew up at Cannon Falls and graduated from high school there. He attended Golden Valley Lutheran College in the Twin Cities for two years, earning an Associate Arts degree, then on to Concordia College - Moorhead for two years, graduating with a psychology degree.

"Then I sold shoes in Marshall Minn., for one year," he added with a smile.

In May 1984, he married Kristy, whom he met in choir at Concordia in their senior year.

Anderson worked in maintenance, basically a jack-of-all-trades, at Golden Valley Lutheran College, and they were gracious and gave him time off for a honeymoon.

One year later, he began four years at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. "I've spent way too much time in school, but there is no short cut."

His first congregation was Medo Lutheran Church in Pemberton, Minn., a rural open-country parish where he served for 3-1/2 years. He also sang barbershop with the Mankato River Blenders for a while.

Then the family moved to Spring Grove, where he started the position of associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church.

At the time, Zechariah, their oldest son was 5 years old, Aaron was three and Matthew was 6-7 months old.

"I've been here now going on 21 years," he reported. Adding, "Currently, Zechariah is finishing his first year at Luther Seminary to be a pastor."

"My heritage is Swedish, Norwegian, German and French, but my top heavy end is Swede," Anderson explained.

"I've always liked pickled herring, lefse and oyster stew as it was part of my family tradition. Then I married Kristy, whose family makes all the Norwegian foods," he stated, but added adamantly, "I still do not eat lutefisk!"

Community involvement is key

"Interaction with school and youth are the best way for me to connect with the community," he pointed out about his involvement in the community.

He was a den leader while his sons were in Cub Scouts. "I tried to help them work on earning their merit pins."

For two years, he was assistant coach for each of two sports, including fifth and sixth-grade basketball with Gary Strinmoen and also junior high football with Patrick Lile.

With Ye Olde Opera House, Anderson has been a part of a variety of productions including three summer musicals and three to four of the vaudeville nights.

"I played all drastically different roles," he recalled, adding, "It was fun in the barbershop quartet in 'The Music Man', and I also enjoyed 'Man of La Mancha', where I was a criminal who took on the pastor role and was dressed in a padre outfit most of the play."

As associate pastor at Trinity Church, his duties are primarily working with the youth, education and evangelism. He also shares duties of worship, funerals, weddings and visitation duties with the senior pastor.

He enjoys working with the youth, doing service projects and attending the national youth gatherings. "We've done service projects in the Boundary Waters, gone to various Bible camps and to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota," he pointed out.

In 2004, Anderson was named Syttende Mai Honorary Norwegian.

"It was a complete surprise. I was given 101 reasons why I should attend the program at school that night. They don't tell you ahead of time you know."

Rev. Anderson has also driven a riding lawn mower with the Pitchfork and Shovel Society in the Syttende Mai parade.

"We did precision lawn mower drills. It was fun for the people in it. Now we leave it to the Shriners to perform.

"Spring Grove is a very good place to raise a family. I've always seen a passion to keep Spring Grove a thriving community and appreciate the willingness for people who volunteer for school, church and community events."