OSAGE | Gary Gonnerman, who is no stranger to Mitchell County, has been named interim pastor at the First Baptist Church in Osage.
Gonnerman pastored the St Ansgar Baptist Church, from March of 1984 until he retired in May of 2013. The Gonnermans moved to Lyle, Minnesota in 2014, and after his retirement, Gonnerman has supplied pulpits in Algona, Belmond, and Charles City. He also filled the pulpit of a Chatfield, Minnesota church for almost a year.
“A year ago, last August, I was asked to fill the pulpit in Osage. I went and preached one Sunday, and they asked if I would come every other Sunday,” Gonnerman said. “They then voted to make me their interim pastor in early winter of 2016. I have been filling the pulpit here for over a year.”
Gonnerman, who has four adult children and 17 grandchildren, grew up on a farm near Dysart. In the fall of 1960, he attended the Baptist Bible College in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating in 1964.
“I then went home to farm, but I was so miserable,” he said. “I went back to school in the fall of 1965, and took further schooling and graduated in 1967.”
From June of 1968 to January of 1975, he pastored the Regular Baptist Church in Clear Lake. His family then moved to Mount Ayr, where he pastored from 1975 to 1984, before moving to St Ansgar. In August 2007, Gonnerman’s first wife, Sheryl, passed away. In April 2010, he married Marquerite Muzzey, who had been a high school classmate.
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Marguerite, who had never married, served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 40 years, in Papua New Guinea for 28 of those years. While there, she lived among the Hote language-speaking nationals, learning their language and translating the text of the Bible from English into their language. She worked with the Hote people to do the translation work.
During her years in Papua New Guinea, Marguerite was able to translate parts of the Old Testament and about two-thirds of the New Testament. After she returned to the States, another missionary couple completed the work of translating the New Testament into Hote, one of the over 800 languages found in the island nation. In April 2010, the two were wed. Today, they partner in helping to lead others to Christ and to build local churches.
“My goal is supplying the pulpit and try to help the Osage church rebuild, and to help and get a full time pastor here,” Gonnerman said.
Along with his duties in Osage, he still writes a weekly column in the St. Ansgar paper called Lessons for Living and has weekly chapel services at the Good Samaritan Center in St. Ansgar.
“I was an active pastor before I retired, and even though I am retired, I do keep real busy,” Gonnerman said.