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Karnes happy to be serving church in hockey-crazy Minnesota

Photo by Rachelle Klemme The Rev. Russell Karnes is the new pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church in Wadena.

The new pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church is a first-time Minnesota resident.

"I love hockey so I guess I came to the right state," the Rev. Russell Karnes said.

In fact, when he traveled to Wadena as a candidate in March, it was his first visit to Minnesota ever. He said that relatives in the Twin Cities area put in a good word about the state.

"I prayed about it and this is where the Lord led me," he said. "I believe that this is where God wants me to be."

Karnes took the leap of faith and started Sunday, June 12. The next weekend was June Jubilee, so he got to attend the parade and see the fireworks.

Originally from Ohio, Karnes got his education at Bob Jones University in South Carolina and Michigan Missionary Baptist Seminary, which is one of the seminaries of the American Baptist Association of independent congregations. He also had a short pastorate in Tennessee.

Karnes said that the ministry was what God had called him to do.

"It's something that you can't put into words," he said.

The previous pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Lorn Apel, had resigned several years ago due to health reasons but still attends the services every Sunday.

"I just want to give a cordial welcome to anybody who would like to come to visit," Karnes said.

First Missionary Baptist Church is located at 222 3rd St. NE.