Pastor Nyla has been serving First Lutheran since 2003 as an associate pastor. She earned an Associate of Arts in Biblical Studies from Lutheran Bible Institute in Issaquah, Washington, in 1988. She earned a basic business degree from Aarhus Handleskole (Business School), in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1991. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with a minor in Danish from Dana College, Blair, Nebraska, in 1993. In 1997 she graduated from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Master of Arts degree in Youth and Family Ministries, and again in 2000 with a Master of Divinity. Prior to her call to First Lutheran she served as an associate pastor in Long Beach, California. Pastor Nyla has also attended Prepare & Enrich Counselor’s Training in 1999 and ALLY & Safe Zone Training – Ally for LGBTQIA+2S in 2019.
Mission work is near and dear to Pastor Nyla's heart. She was born and raised as an MK (missionary kid) in Cameroon, West Africa. She was an English Correspondent and Road Manager for Youth For Christ, Denmark from 1988-1991. She led Tanzania Mission Trips with First Lutheran Church 2006 and 2008. Pastor Nyla has led Belize Mission Trips annually since 2012 and created partnerships with two pastors and two schools in Belize. She participated in the Ordination of Women in Cameroon with our synod’s companion church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon, as a representative of the South Dakota Synod. She participates in and supports Bienvenidos A Brookings, Border Servant Corps.
Pastor Nyla currently serves on the Augustana University Board of Trustees (2019-present). She has also served on the South Dakota Synod Youth and Family Ministry Team from 2004-2006, the Leadership Planning Team for “Impact Lives” Event in Brookings in 2010, and the ELCA Youth Gathering 2018 Planning Team from 2016-2018. She also participates in and supports the Brookings Community Youth Empowerment Program.
Pastor Nyla and her husband, Pastor Dave, were married in 1994 and have four daughters. Along with mission work, her passions include: youth, cross cultural, diversity, spiritual direction, gardening, painting, weight training, traveling, and a good glass of wine. 😊