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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 as the 4th Vice President of the MN South District of the LCMS, and is a Synodical Reconciler. 

About the Vicar

Vicar Scofield was baptized April 30, 1995 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Villa Park,
Illinois, where he was later confirmed in the faith April 5, 2009, and grew up in nearby Downers Grove, Illinois.


He began studying Sports Journalism at Columbia College Chicago in 2013 and covered the Chicago Fire from the press box and locker room but ended these studies in 2014. Around this time, he first felt moved toward beginning theological studies. He began studying Church and Not-for-Profit Management at Concordia University Chicago in 2016, finishing with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology: Professional Studies and Theological Languages in 2020. He has attended
Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the Masters of Divinity program since 2020, serving Peace Lutheran Church in Berne, Indiana as a field worker.

Vicar-Elect Scofield enjoys spending time in and around the church, reading history, and watching sports.

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