- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Retirement has come for a Sioux Falls pastor who counseled and gave guidance to workers at a meatpacking plant.

The Rev. Carl Bruxvoort was set to retire May 31 as ministry director for New Roots Ministry, which he helped found. Religious leaders have been trained by Bruxvoort, who has specialized in outreach with the immigrant population in the city.

The Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1PluQ2P) reports about one-third of Bruxvoort’s duties consisted of his work at the John Morrell and Co. meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls. Bruxvoort and his son, who worked at the meatpacking plant during college, decided that a chaplain could help John Morrell. Bruxvoort took the idea to executives for the company.

Bruxvoort put on a helmet and hard hat about 16 hours weekly to provide plant workers with religious advice, also giving counsel in tragedy. He preached at a co-worker’s 4-year-old son’s funeral.

With Bruxvoort’s retirement, his role as ministry director for New Roots Ministry is being taken over by the Rev. Fred Wilgenburg, who had the opportunity to do some shadowing at the meatpacking plant. Wilgenburg said that Bruxvoort is skilled at remembering people’s names and is sensitive to what people need.

“God made people in his image and we really believe that every single person anywhere has the image of God within them,” Wilgenburg said. “I think Carl really sees that in people.”

Bruxvoort, a native of Orange City, Iowa, said he will retain a hard hat and badge. He plans to continue to teach. While he’s retired, he’ll be able to get more time with his family, which includes three children.

“I really enjoyed the last chapter of official ministry,” Bruxvoort said.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com


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