Ken Harste, Pastor


Pastor Ken Harste has never had a time when he didn’t know Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior although he will readily admit that there were times of rebelliousness where he didn’t let Jesus be the leader of his life.

Born in western Minnesota as a fourth-generation immigrant on a family farm, Pastor Ken loves the outdoors. He comes from a long line of teachers and story tellers and given half a chance he will regale you with endless tales from his childhood and life experiences. Everyone has a story that God is writing with their lives and Pastor Ken’s story is filled with passion and hope and a desire for people to discover God’s presence in their lives the story he is writing with them.

After graduating from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Pastor Ken attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has served congregations in Rogue River, Oregon, Lacey, Washington, and three local congregations; Good Shepherd in Circle Pines, Family of Christ in Andover, and is founding pastor of Samaritans Hill.

Pastor Ken’s wife Joanne is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. (Visit her Counseling page here.) Together, they have five children and eight grandchildren with one more on the way. Pastor loves to garden, do woodworking and house projects, and playing with his dog Windsor. You can learn more about Pastor’s hobbies on Facebook at Salida Bottom Farms.

Vicar Kyle Johnson began his vicarage at Samaritans Hill Church in February 2022.  He is currently enrolled in the Specific Ministry Pastor Program through Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis to become the pastor here at Samaritans Hill.

Kyle was a leader in an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group in college.  He was an adult and youth bible study leader in his previous churches.  His primary career has been in food service with the mindset: “wherever God has placed me, that is my mission field.”

Kyle has been married to his wife, Monica, since 2009.  They have six children.  Kyle enjoys playing games with his kids and swapping stories with fellow Christians about the Holy Spirit.  Monica was a teacher and director of a daycare center for many years and loves to help new moms. She is now a stay at home, homeschool mom to their 6 children.

We are thankful to have Kyle and Monica and the kids here at Samaritans Hill and look forward to the many blessings God has in store for us while we proclaim the Gospel in our community.