The Rev. Peter Bredlau is the new pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church at 1330 13th St., Moline, taking over from the Rev. Larry Conway.
Bredlau, 51, was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and grew up about 30 miles away in Beaver Dam. He was appointed to his new post in Moline during a special congregational meeting Sept. 30 and will be installed during the 9 a.m. service on Dec. 2.
He said he spent most of his pastoral career in the Pennsylvania area before he and his family moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family. His mother and sister live in Madison, Wisconsin.
Bredlau said their children, Will and Lauryn, are enamored to have a Chick-fil-A restaurant to eat at and by learning about Ballet Quad-Cities.
He and his wife, Joanna, married in 1994. Bredlau began his ministry career at his wife's hometown church in Reading, Pennsylvania. They moved to Philadelphia in 1991 and spent the past 26 years in Pennsylvania.
Formerly a chaplain and church relations director at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he also has served in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and, most recently Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
He attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and United Lutheran Theology Seminary in Philadelphia, graduating in 1996.
The Quad-Cities has proved to be similar to living in Pennsylvania, he said.
"My wife grew up in more of an urban area, so this feels like home for her," Bredlau said.
He said he was attracted to Trinity by the size and type of congregation that "fits my skills better."
"Trinity is a place that is stable, yet with room for growth and depth," he said.
Bredlau plans to spend the rest of the year listening to church members. By the church's annual meeting in February, he hopes to be able to deliver a state-of-the-union address for the congregation and launch two or three initiatives for 2019 into 2020.
"The things I've told the congregation the most is, I believe this church, and others like it, needs to re-establish its relevance and usefulness to the community," he said. "People wonder why churches exist, and I want to make this place a positive contributor to the community."
He says he cares less about statistics than working together as a church to improve relationships with one another.
Bredlau said he enjoys pointing out the "weirdness in life."
"If the church doesn't bring you joy or bring out the fun of life, why are we doing it," he said. "A lot of Lutheran churches are built for success if this was in the early 1960s. Times have changed."
He said his professional and academic interests were reformation, colonial and 20th-century history, the philosophy of language, preaching and emerging trends in the church. His favorite books of the Bible are Acts and Jonah.
His favorite movies include "It's A Wonderful Life," "Field of Dreams" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
"I like all sorts of music," he said. "I am a longtime fan of Bob Dylan and anything from the 1980s alternative category."
He says he believes he remains the youngest Eagle Scout in the Bay Lakes, Wisconsin, council. He had just turned 14 when he completed the requirements.