About us


Welcome to St. James!

Since 1875 St. James has been reaching out to Howard Lake and the surrounding area with the Good News of Jesus Christ. St. James has always had a strong emphasis on Christian Education throughout its history through Christ-Centered sermons, Bible Studies, and St. James Lutheran School. We are a member of the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

We welcome you to join us for worship, Bible study, fellowship, and more. Please know that you will find a body of broken and imperfect people here at St. James.  As sinners, we will never be perfect in our earthly being.  However, what you can be assured of, is that here at St. James, you will be pointed to the one who has freed us from the eternal consequences of sin by giving His life as a ransom for all – Jesus Christ. Through His continued love for us through the sacraments, we are made whole.​

Rev. Mark Loder

No matter what situation you face, or how bad of a person you think you are, St. James is where we hope you will want to be.  Among the body of Christ is where we find peace and joy knowing that we no longer have to go it alone. All of us have our hidden and not so hidden struggles. Jesus has given the cure for all of it. May our hearts be moved to soften and repent and receive the blessing that is Jesus' absolution - the forgiveness of sin. 


We pray your time here is a blessing to you, as you are to us.  We invite you to come and visit us again!


God’s peace,

Pastor Mark Loder


About the Pastor

Pastor Loder was born in Dover, Delaware. He did not grow up attending church but found a church home in his college years as he was hired to direct a church choir. As a child, Pastor lived in Hawaii before moving to Omaha, NE. After graduating high school, Pastor attended college at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD to study vocal performance. There he would meet his bride, Molly, who grew up in Waseca, MN. After graduation from college Pastor served as a police officer in Vermillion and Molly taught Junior High band. During this time pastor and Molly were blessed with three children, Micah, Mathias, and Mara. In the fall of 2016, the Loder family welcomed Malachi into their family through adoption. 


Pastor Loder graduated with his MDiv (Master of Divinity) from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN in 2009. Upon graduation, he was placed in a call to the Office of Holy Ministry at St. John's Lutheran in Winsted, MN. Pastor Loder served there for 6 years before receiving and accepting a call to serve St. James in December of 2015. In addition to his service to St. James, Pastor serves on the Camp Omega Board of Directors, is a Synodical Reconciler, and is the Litchfield Circuit Visitor. 

About the Vicar

Vicar Dub was born in Temple, Texas. He grew up the oldest son in a military family and spent most of his early years living in Fort Lewis, Washington. He has two younger brothers: one is a Junior at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul and the other is a Junior in High School at Owatonna. Vicar Dub attended college at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where he studied Classics, German, and Philosophy. After graduating, he spent a year teaching English and Latin in Germany with the Windsbacher Knabenchor, a boy’s choir, where he also served as a House Parent for the 5th Grade class. 


Vicar Dub is currently studying theology at Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne. There he met his bride, Michaela, who is studying to serve as a deaconess. Vicar Dub sings with the Kantorei, served as an RA, and worked in the Rare Book Archive of the Kroemer Library. Before serving as Vicar at St. James, Vicar Dub spent a summer on the east coast in Philadelphia and Baltimore as a Vicar serving inner-city mission congregations.