Pastor E.B. Holschuh Zion Lutheran Church in Alamo, Texas


Everyone wonders about the pastor. Is he young or old, married or single? How does he feel about [insert topic here]? Is he all holier-than-thou or will he be able to relate to me without judging me? Will he forgive me? Marry us? Can he be trusted in confidence? Does he want my money?

Well, I understand. So let's be honest. I was installed as the new pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in September 2017. I'm still married to my first wife. My opinions about [insert topic] are moot; God's opinion as revealed in the Bible is what matters to both of us. In all likelihood I'm less holier-than-thou than the next guy, and God is the only judge between the three of us. Forgiveness is the church's business; however, it is really only Christ who offers forgiveness to contrite and repentant sinners (we pastors don't have the power to forgive sins, per se, though we are called to do so by Christ Himself, in his stead). The Church has given me the authority to marry a man and a woman in accordance with God's Word-- if you and your prospective spouse are Lutheran and not living together, then most likely yes. As for trusting me in confidence, I would hope that I wouldn't cause you to think otherwise. And, no, I don't want your money-- congregation members have made a commitment to support the life of the church with their time, talents, and treasures as they are able...

If you'll read on, I think you'll find me to be just an ordinary, average guy. And if you're still on the fence about me when you get to the end, click the button and let's connect by email.

Pastor. Teacher. Veteran.

Rangers & Cowboys. Bowling. Crossword.

I'm a third-vocation Lutheran pastor here in the Rio Grande Valley. I grew up, mostly, in Texas. I've been following the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys since I was a kid. I joined the United States Navy right out of high school, served 20 years and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. I met a sailor from Michigan in 1985 in Japan and married her. Our common denominator at the time was the Russian language. I was a high school ESL, English, and Russian teacher, as well as a high school bowling coach, prior to moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to finish my pastoral training at Concordia Theological Seminary. I'm an amateur birder, a fan of old movies, and working the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday NY Times crossword puzzles helps to keep me less senile.

L-R: Call night (2017), teaching high school English (2002), brothers in arms (2000)

Husband. Father. Brother.

Texas. Kinfolk. Russian.

Texas will always be our home. We have family in the northeast part of the state. My wife and I have traveled the world together; my last trip abroad was to Russia. We were married in Japan. Our first daughter was born in Spain, our second in California. I was baptized Presbyterian, and so followed my wife and kids into the Lutheran church. I'm grateful to God for a loving family growing up (one brother, one sister) through the bumps, bruises, and turbulence of addiction-- we are all still a work in progress. Family connections are very important to me. I got into genealogy in 1989 and have since learned that, while we both have German surnames, my wife is 68% English and I'm 35% Irish, and both sides of our daughters' lines run through an amalgam of church affiliations, among them Lutheran. We have a pastor friend from Moscow who is still considered one of the family. As a vicar (pastor intern) I was active in Russian-speaking outreach ministry. I'm also interested in Spanish-speaking outreach, I just don't know enough Spanish. Todavía.

L-R: Mom and daughters (2017), while vicar after Russian service (2008), with Lutherans in Moscow (2004)

Christian. Lutheran. Sinner.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, heart, or soul that God responds to faith and prayer, and that my life is where it today is because of Good Friday. His Word and my Baptism assure me that I am saved by His GRACE ALONE through His gift of my FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE. I am a Christian first, called by Christ Jesus to go and make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to preach and to teach. I am a confessional Lutheran, called by the Church into public ministry as an ordained servant by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And I am daily called into repentance, reminded that I, too, am a sinner. In need of forgiveness. In need of encouragement. In need of a Savior.

The Path to the Cross

The path to the Cross is illuminated by the Gospel, led by Christian witness, and passes through family and social relationships, culture and language, even vocation. Think of the many people we come into contact with each day, whether in person or on social media, in the grocery store or at work, at school or in the neighborhood. And each of us is placed in various vocations throughout life, whether created male or female, brother or sister, father or mother; whether we become husband or wife, doctor or lawyer, teacher or firefighter, mechanic or pastor. God has made each person with unique abilities and traits, but it is His gift of saving faith created by hearing the Gospel that compels the use of time, talent, treasure, and station to help others find the path to a loving church home, and a new life in Christ.

Maybe you found this page because you're curious... Maybe you have a question about church or God or Lutherans or Christianity... No matter what the reason, let's connect! Click a button below to shoot me an email or follow me on Twitter.

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