Interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran brings experience to Valley |

Interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran brings experience to Valley

Staff reports

An interim pastor is officiating at Trinity Lutheran Church folllowing the retirement of the Rev. Larry Miller.

Born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, June 7, 1932, the Rev. Russell H. Howen was graduated from Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, in 1957.

Ordained and installed July 21, 1957, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Morrill, Neb., he also served Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Norfolk, Neb., and for 31 years at Christ Lutheran Church, Martinez, Calif., from where he retired July 20, 1997, completing 40 years in the ministry.

From 1976-1981. he developed and organized the mission in Benicia, Calif., which became Benicia Lutheran Church.

He vicared at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Columbus, Neb. and during summer internships as Boy Scout chaplain in North Dakota and as assisting pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood, N.J.

He served as the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League California-Nevada-Hawaii District Pastoral Counselor 1975-81 and Nebraska District Walther League Pastoral Advisor 1960-66. In the Northern Nebraska District, he was a member of the youth committee, chairman of the evangelism committee, director of the Ambassadors for Christ youth evangelism program, and circuit counselor. He was the Protestant Chaplain of John F. Kennedy University from 1968-75. While at Martinez, Pastor Howen produced Christ Lutheran Church Television, a weekly church program on community access cable from 1983-1997. While in Morrill, he wrote two weekly columns for the local newspaper, “The Poet’s Corner” and “Minute Meditation.”

Active in community affairs, Pastor Howen is a privileged member of the Martinez Lions Club. He served for six years as a member of the board of directors of the Lions Blind Center of Diablo Valley in Pittsburg, eight years on the Protestant Committee of Scouting in Contra Costa County, 10 years on the Martinez Park and Recreation Commission, and seven years as a volunteer with the Suicide Prevention program.

Pastor Howen is vice president of the board of directors of Christian Psychological Counseling Services and general chairman for Lutheran Day at the Oakland Athletics. He also serves as a volunteer training specialist for Aid Association for Lutherans.

Pastor Howen is widowed; his wife of 37 years, the former Miriam Mikula of Traverse City, Michigan, died in 1994. He has one daughter, Rebekah Kartman of Fort Wayne, Ind. He has four grandchildren, Alexander, Eric, Hillary and Madelyn.

The pastor lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached by telephone (530) 541-8509, by e-mail (, or by mail at 2453 Del Norte Street, South Lake Tahoe 96150-7206.