Pastor Tim Klinkenberg can lead the Synod

Congregations Matter Introduces….Tim Klinkenberg

Congregations Matter has travelled around the country seeking Godly men ready and able to lead our Synod. We are excited to start introducing men to you who have the faith, character and experience necessary to serve congregations in the office of Synod President.

Let us now introduce Senior Pastor Timothy Klinkenberg of St. John’s Lutheran, Orange, CA to you.  Congregations Matter believes he is one such man prepared by God to lead the LCMS as Synod President.

Introducing Pastor Tim

Pastor Klinkenberg is a proven leader and is well-known in our Synod through the popular Facebook website LCMS Encouraged and Encouraging.  Tim has led a successful congregation and day school for two decades.  He has confidence in congregations, and trusts in God’s Word.  Anyone who has met Tim knows him as a person who radiates enthusiasm for the Gospel and people.

Tim Has Been Faithful to His Pastoral Call

Pastor Klinkenberg is a strong preacher of God's WordTim has served as a pastor in our Synod for his 27 years in ministry, serving his entire professional career in a parish setting, most of that time at St. John’s in Orange, California.  The ebbs and flows of parish life have defined his work, including public preaching and administration of the sacraments, building teams with lay members to further the work of the congregation, serving a large Lutheran Day School, and working in his local community and in the Synod.

Tim finds great joy in encouraging and working with both church workers and laity, to build his own congregation, and to find inroads for the gospel in different settings in its larger community.  As a son of the Pacific Southwest District, he takes great joy in being part of the congregations in the District working together.

Tim is a high-energy man and hard-charging for the sake of the Gospel — and these leadership attributes have served him and the Lord’s work well.

Congregations Pastor Klinkenberg Served

  • Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville, Illinois, 1989-1990, Vicar
  • Faith Lutheran Church, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, 1991-1993, Associate Pastor, to work in the areas of youth, outreach, and education
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, California, 1993-1998, Associate Pastor, as Minister of Youth and Education
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church, Orange, California, 1999-present, Senior Pastor, for a church of 4,500 congregants, a school of over 800 students, from 2-5 associate pastors, and a staff of 120 dedicated workers

Tim’s Work In Our Synod

Tim has served the Pacific Southwest District, including

  • District High School Youth Gatherings, 1993-1995
  • District Board of Directors, 2000-2012, and 2015-2018
  • District First Vice President, 2012-2018
  • Organized and led Pastoral Conferences in 2012, 2015, and 2017
  • Served as Circuit Visitor, 2012-2015

His other church-related activities have included

  • Service on the Board of Directors for Lutheran High School of Orange County, California
  • Chaplain on International Lutheran Hour Ministries Board 2012-2015
  • Role of Moses on Lutheran Hour Ministries’ traditional Rose Parade Float, 2016
  • Work through his congregation with Orange County Foster Care since 2016

Tim has been a speaker for our church organizations, including

  • Keynote speaker and master of ceremonies for Lutheran Education Association Convocation, 2013
  • Keynote speaker, Lutheran Educators’ Conference, 2015
  • Speaker at Pacific Southwest District and Texas District Conferences, in 2017

Missionary Work

On July 19, 2018, Pastor Tim departed on an 8,000-mile-flight, leading a missionary team of 15 to Kenya to set up playground equipment for orphan children at the Village in Rwika, near Embu.  Earlier this spring, Tim’s congregation packed 60,000 meals and sent a shipping container filled with those meals, along with the equipment, to Kenya.

Among the other rewarding projects Tim has pursued with his lay members have been leading seven humanitarian missionary trips to Vietnam, with from five to twenty team members.  They followed the lead of dedicated LCMS missionaries in Vietnam, doing things like building a playground, and other work to lead toward the establishment of a school in Hanoi.

Projects like these put Tim on the front line to demonstrate God’s love, through service, to people who often face active opposition to their faith from their government.  He has experience working with international partners, mobilizing hundreds to accomplish the Lord’s work and supervising more than 120 ordained, commissioned and lay workers in his congregation.


  • Lutheran High School of Orange County, graduated 1982
  • Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1987, Bachelor of Arts Degree
  • Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, 1991, Master of Divinity Degree
  • Currently enrolled at Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California, in Doctor of Ministry Program, focusing on Lifetime Leadership Development.  The D.Min. degree will be awarded in 2019.

Some Personal Information

Tim is 54 years old and married Barb thirty years ago.  She is also a 1987 graduate of Concordia, St. Paul and a financial manager at Orange Lutheran High School.  Their son, Justin, is married to Jessie, and both are graduates of Orange Lutheran High School as is Tim and Barb’s daughter, Sarah.

Barb and Tim live in Orange County, California.  When he has had time, he’s enjoyed coaching soccer, football, and basketball, both in his congregation and in the community.

Tim’s life as a pastor came naturally to him.  His father, Thomas Klinkenberg, was a mission-planting pastor, and, in that role, moved his family around the country, living in Mesa and Flagstaff, Arizona, Hartley, Iowa, and settling in Anaheim, California.  Tim has worked to follow his example in building the congregations he has served and growing each church to reach those who have not yet heard the Gospel.

Pastor Klinkenberg Is Ready To Lead Our Synod

Pastor Tim Klinkenberg Baptizing the Next Generation of the FaithfulTim Klinkenberg trusts our called workers and our congregations.  He’s a pastor.  If Tim is our next Synod President, Congregations Matter believes his administration will be marked by a return to our congregational system of governance.

Let’s think positive thoughts about our future again.  Let’s trust each other — and our congregations — again.

It will soon be time for congregations to nominate pastors for Synod President.  Congregations Matter believes your congregation should consider Tim Klinkenberg and nominate him for the office.

Isn’t it time Synod returns to serving congregations instead of trying to govern them with central power in St. Louis?


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