Senior Pastor R. Lee Boleyn
I have been privileged to serve as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church since December 2002, after completing a 22.5 year career as a chaplain in the United States Air Force.
First Baptist Church has been a special place for Diane and me our entire lives as we both met Jesus, were baptized and became His followers through the ministry of this church. I felt an early call to ministry while in junior high but it wasn’t until we attended a Decision Weekend at North American Baptist Seminary in November of 1970 that God’s call was solidified and we began preparations to pursue theological training. Following graduation from Iowa State University in May, 1971, and a summer teaching VBS and living in Elgin, we relocated to Sioux Falls where I began studies leading to a Master of Divinity degree in May 1974 followed by ordination on May 24, 1974.
God allowed us to have a variety of pastoral experiences during our seminary years serving a number of South Dakota churches in several denominations (United Church of Christ Congregational, Covenant and Mennonite). These experiences were to be a great training ground and preparation for military chaplaincy that would come some years later.
We served two different NAB churches between September, 1974, and August, 1980, before accepting a commission to the Air Force Chaplain Service. Serving as an Air Force Chaplain took our family to a variety of military bases in the United States and overseas in Spain. Additionally, I spent one year away from my family during an unaccompanied tour in the interior of Alaska and on two different deployments in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Oman.
It has been a fantastic journey to have Diane as my wife and ministry partner since our marriage on September 6, 1970. God blessed us with two sons, Nathaniel and Zachary and through them he has given us four grandchildren, Steven, Jakob, Andrea and Audrey.
In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, geocaching, gardening and spending time with Diane at whatever we find to do.
I stand in awe of the things God has done for me, and I am humbled to be a small part of the great work he is doing among his people at First Baptist Church.