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Pastor Nathan Lamb with his family. From left, Kat Jurimae, an Estonian exchange student sponsored by the family, Izzie Lamb, Nathan Lamb, Aurora Lamb and Jennifer Lamb.

After nine months in Manchester, Nathan Lamb was officially appointed the new pastor of First Presbyterian Church.

Born and raised in Cherokee, Lamb first felt the call to ministry after Bible school when he was 9 years old. After majoring in religion at Northwestern College in Orange City, he began his ministry at Alton Presbyterian Church where the pastor took Lamb under his wing. Lamb later attended Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va., and spent two years as an associate pastor in Florida before deciding it was time to come back to his home state.

Upon returning to Iowa, Lamb met his wife Jennifer and the two lived in Hartford for nine years, then moved to Pipestone, Minn., for Lamb’s next assignment. Eventually deciding to return to Iowa once again, he decided to apply for a pastor opening in Manchester.

“This is the perfect setting,” said Lamb, “much like the town I grew up in. It’s a small town but not too small. There’s a lot going on here and we were really interested in the community and what it had to offer. I also have family in Dubuque and a sister who is also a Presbyterian pastor up in Goldfield, so we’re closer to our family here.”

First arriving in January 2021, Lamb’s official appointment to the position of pastor was purposefully delayed until he had time to get to know his new congregation. With COVID-19 and Iowa winters preventing many people from attending church, Lamb turned to long-distance communication to introduce himself to his new church family.

“It was a challenge when I came here to get to know people, and even in the wintertime, there were some Sundays where the weather wasn’t good. As I started, we decided we would push off that installation until September, hoping things would change with the COVID-19 situation. In the meantime, I was using all those different means of phone calls emails and cards to get in touch with my congregation. It’s really been over the summer where we had more people coming back and I can get to know people that way.”

The installation took place on Sept. 19 with Lamb saying the delay likely helped bring more people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make it.

“With the installation of Presbyterian churches, the presbytery, meaning other pastors, come from around the area to participate, and we all know what it’s like to try and plan things in January, February or March. Still, it worked out nicely to have that extra time and I was able to have some good friends of mine participate in the service, as well as my sister who might not have been able to make it earlier in the year.”

Lamb said the church community has made him feel very welcome and he views his members as an extended church family.

“For me, a big part of being pastoral is getting to know people and visiting, and we have to look at other ways to expand that visitation ministry. I’ve really focused on trying to connect with people. I’ve sent out a lot of cards, and this is something I’ve found to be a blessing. It’s a way to connect with them when you’re not seeing them, both in church and around the community. It’s why I like being part of a small church in a small town, you get to know people.”