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Pastor Bump comes to New Richmond

Pastor Jim Bump

After spending 18 years serving at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waupaca, Pastor Jim Bump said he's excited to serve at First Lutheran Church in New Richmond.

Bump and his wife Pam moved to the city on May 30. The next day, he was installed as pastor and began working June 1. He led his first worship service at First Lutheran last weekend.

After a hectic few weeks, it should come as no surprise that Bump's office was largely still packed in cardboard boxes on June 10.

His own office furniture is still making its way to First Lutheran, he said.

Bump comes to New Richmond with a wide range of experiences inside and out of the ministry.

He was raised in Ames, Iowa, and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in philosophy and religious studies with a psychology minor.

He "dug ditches" for a while after college before heading to seminary in Chicago. Bump's first call was in Washington, Ill.

From there, he was called to Trinity Lutheran in Waupaca where he served as a youth pastor for five years before becoming a pastor at the church until 2005.

In 2005, Bump's role changed to mission developer. The church was large, landlocked and in the downtown district of the city, he said.

"It was similar to First Lutheran in a way," he said.

To encourage attendance and growth of the congregation, the church started a satellite location in the commons area of the city's high school.

"We were multiplying by dividing," Bump said. Unfortunately, the satellite location was closed in January, due to a lack of funding and availability of a location.

Although Bump won't need to use as much creative power to solve space issues here due to First Lutheran's impending new building, those experiences are tools Bump plans to utilize now in New Richmond.

"I'm going to be using my skills as a mission director to reach out," he vowed.

Getting active in the community is one goal he has for the congregation and himself.

Bump said he enjoys community service. Previously, he served as a chaplain for the Waupaca police department, served on the Healthy Community Healthy Youth committee with the school district and other volunteer activities.

Services themselves may get a little revamping from what parishioners are used to, Bump said.

"Making the traditional more traditional and the contemporary more contemporary," he explained.

However, traditional services may not be quite as traditional as some expect. Bump uses pictures and videos from films, YouTube or homemade productions in his sermons.

"Anything that enhances the theme or topic for the day," he explained. "It will probably be new to some in the congregation."

First Lutheran's well-known choirs, organists, bands and singers will also play a key role in the sermons, he said.

Kids are another focus for Bump, he said. The mother church in Waupaca had a preschool in it, he said.

"I loved that aspect of the ministry and what it does to the life of the congregation," he said.

Kids aren't the church of the future, Bump said. Rather, he said they are key in the present church.

"Kids are a core part of this group. They are the church of today. I want to include them in worship and let them know that they belong here," he explained.

Outside of his pastoral duties, Bump has three dogs, two of which he trained to be hunting dogs. Typically, he hunts grouse, pheasants, ducks and turkeys, but not deer.

This spring and summer, Bump said he'll be rooting for the Brewers. During the fall, Bump backs the Packers. And, of course, he's a proud fan of the Iowa State Cyclones.

"We're blessed to have a few Cyclone graduates in the congregation," he joked.

Bump and Pam have two daughters who live in the Washington, D.C. area. Their oldest and her husband have one daughter with a son expected very soon.

While he's still meeting people and finding his way around town, Bump said he's enjoying New Richmond and First Lutheran.

"It was sad to leave but very exciting to meet new people and see new dreams," Bump said. "We're ready."