Carson man to be ordained as Lutheran pastor

Longtime Carson City resident Alan Hilton will be ordained at 4 p.m. Sunday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church as a Lutheran pastor.

A native of South Dakota and lifelong Lutheran, Hilton has been a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church for the past 42 years.

"I have served three congregations of the Plumas County, Calif., Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod Ministries the past year as vicar," Hilton said.

"Our Savior in Chester, First Lutheran in Greenville and St. Luke in Portola (all in California)."

It is these three churches Hilton will continue to serve after he is ordained.

Hilton retired in April 2004 from the Nevada Department of Transportation as the department's chief of research, after 26 years.

Called by the Holy Spirit into the ministry, he entered Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., in the summer of 2004. He completed the seminary's Alternate Route's program in June, including a one-year vicarage (internship).

"The modern-day equivalent of the 'circuit rider,' I travel more than 150 miles roundtrip in the eastern Sierra Nevada each Sunday to provide these churches with the Word of God, both taught and preached along with administering the sacraments of holy baptism and the Lord's supper."

The ordainment will be instructed by the Rev. Mark Kliewer, who is known as counselor for the region.

"Alan and I have talked a bit about his (pastoral) work," said the Rev. Paul Deterding of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. "He and several other men participated in a continuing education program, which is like a preliminary to seminary.

"He said how it was beneficial to him and that it helped him be well grounded and prepared."

Other men from Bethlehem Lutheran Church who entered seminary together include: Larry Paul, Gene Haug, Joe Fichtner and John West. Paul, Haug and Joe received their first calls in the spring and are being ordained this summer, West must yet complete a couple of courses.

"The whole congregation is happy for Alan," Deterding said. "We rejoice with Alan, and are grateful to God for what has come out of this - these men going out in the service of Christ's Gospel."

Hilton is a graduate of Carson High School and attended the University of Nevada, Reno. He has an associate's degree in general studies.

He is married to Kathy, and have two married daughters - Alicia Truhill and Allison Morian, and three grandsons; Jacob Truhill, and Colby and Andrew Morian. Alan and Kathy reside in Chester, Calif.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.


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