Pastor Jef

Nerstrand UMC welcomes Pastor Jef Olson as Interim Pastor.  He began his service to our congregation along with St. John’s UCC in Sept of 2021.

He shares some of his background and interests below.

Call to Ministry 

As a United Methodist, I served in a lay capacity for nineteen years in the Walnut Grove United Methodist Church (MN).  At age thirty-eight the call to serve became undeniable. My desire to serve God through the work of the church was affirmed by my spouse and then by the UMC. We sold our family business (retail hardware combined with a residential HVAC sales/service business) in early 1992


  • Doctor of Ministry from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
  • Master of Divinity from The Divinity School at Duke University
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Winona State University

Appointment History

  • La Crescent UMC and Riverside UMC in Dakota (interim pastor), 2019-2020
  • Resurrection UMC in Hastings (interim pastor), 2018
  • Wesley UMC in Wausau, Wisconsin (interim pastor), 2015  
  • Buffalo UMC, 2008-2014
  • Stewartville UMC, 1998-2014
  • Immanuel-Homer UMCs in Winona, 1992-1995

Vision of the Church

I believe the church can be a community that informs us, comforts us, inspires us, holds us accountable and provides us with opportunities worship God, grow in faith together and reach out with concern and compassion to a suffering world. I see the church as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic body to which God has given each of us gifts to share and contribute to the work of the whole. 

Spiritual Disciplines and Study

Worship, prayer, music, reading and reflection and spiritual dialog with others are all constants in my life. Seasonally, I fast one day a week as a means of clearing my mind and cleansing my body.

What I Do for Fun and Recreation

Gathering with family and friends to enjoy whatever the moment has to offer, remodeling homes and landscaping yards, boating and fishing, and reading are among my regular activities in retirement.


Mary Jo and I have been married for 49 years and were blessed with two children, Chad and Leah.  Chad has three children ages 24, 20 and 16.  Leah is married (Luke Fritze) and they have four children ages 9, 7, 6 & 4.  All live in the Rochester area and are a significant reason Jo and I chose to retire in the area.  Having sold our home along the Mississippi River near Reads Landing, we now reside in our new home on the northeast shore of Cannon Lake near Faribault.