Pastor Mike Nelson responded to the call of the Lord to full-time ministry in 1995. His route to pastoring was not your traditional path to becoming a pastor.
Mike graduated from Dakota State University in Madison, SD, with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education. Following his graduation in 1976, he was employed by the Campbell-Tintah School District as a senior high school chemistry and biology teacher. After three years of teaching, he returned to Balaton to join his father and brother in the family farming operation and taught school part-time at Balaton High School. As a result of difficult times for agriculture in the early 1980's, Mike went to work in sales with the Moorman's Manufacturing Company. After three years with Moorman's, he went to work for Ralco Nutrition, Inc. in Marshall, MN. Mike eventually became a national sales manager for Ralco and continued in that position until he transitioned into full-time ministry in 1995.
During the last couple of years of Mike's twelve-year tenure at Ralco, the call to full-time ministry increased, and he and his wife, Cindy, began to pray for God to open doors and purpose in their hearts to obey. What began with some short-term mission trips to Russia evolved into Mike being ordained and set in as pastor of Victory on September 10, 1995. Mike had been involved with Victory's leadership for a number of years previous to his ordination and setting in as pastor.
Mike's heart as a pastor is to see those who have never had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ discover the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus and to assist them in discovering the abundant life available to all through Christ.
Pastor Mike and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 37 years. Cindy is Mike's partner in ministry inside and outside of VCC. She also teaches kindergarten and tutors children at True Light Christian School (formerly Marshall Area Christian School) in Marshall. Mike and Cindy have been blessed with three children and four grandchildren. Their daughter Amber and her husband, Greg Linz, live in Bloomington, MN, and have two sons, Levi and Asher, and one daughter Diella. Greg is the pastor at Discover Church, and Amber is a stay-at-home mom who's also involved in women's ministries at Discover. Mike and Cindy's oldest son, Luke, currently resides in Balaton with his wife Samantha and daughter Iley. Luke works at truShrimp in Balaton, a division of Ralco Nutrition, and is a published author who does public speaking on anti-bullying at schools and other venues around the area. Samantha works for Lockwood Motors as a Business Manager in Marshall and operates her own photography business on the side. Samantha has also recorded and released a couple of worship albums. Mike and Cindy's youngest son, Ethan, also works for truShrimp. He lives in Balaton and serves as a youth group leader for our Jr. and Sr. High Youth. Luke, Samantha and Ethan are very active on Victory's worship team.