A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

pastoral staff

Engaging life and the world through God's gift of grace



Pastor David B. Zellmer  and his wife, LaDonna, have been married for 44 years and have four grown children, Christina, Josh, Sarah, and Mike. They have eleven grandchildren, with two more expected to arrive this spring. All of their children live in South Dakota, and Pastor Dave and LaDonna are able to spend significant amounts of time with them.
Pastor Dave enjoys bike riding (they have an annual family bike ride in the Black Hills), hunting, and shooting trap & sporting clays competitively. He has a multi-engine and single engine commercial pilot’s license and used planes in his work as bishop.
Pastor Dave served the South Dakota District/Synod for 39 years. In 1981, Pastor Dave and LaDonna served a three-point ALC parish in rural Aberdeen. In 1985, they moved to Mitchell where he served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and lived through the merger of becoming the ELCA. In 1993, he was called to serve as senior pastor of Lutheran Memorial Church in Pierre and Grace Lutheran in Hayes, SD. In 2007, Pastor Dave was elected as the third bishop of the South Dakota Synod. He retired in September 2019. His retirement months have been kept busy with interim work in Yankton and North Dakota. Pastor Dave is excited to come along with us as we walk through the process of calling a new senior pastor.