Our Pastors

Pastor and Mrs. Favrholdt Elias Marius Favrholdt from 1928 to 1930.

Elias Marius Favrholdt was born in 1895 and emigrated to the United States in 1923. Pastor Favrholdt was sent and paid by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to minister to the Danes in Vancouver.

The ladies of our congregation wanted to advertise rummage sales and other similar fund raising events in our newsletter. Pastor Favrholdt was of the opinion that the newsletter should publish religious material only. This controversy escalated and Pastor Favrholdt left for a position in Junction City, Oregon.

In 1933, Pastor Favrholdt returned to Denmark to become pastor in Kolding. Through Kirkeligt Samfunds Forlag he published Emigranter, a three volume collection of emigrant stories. Pastor Favrholdt died in 1937.

Jørgen Nielsen from 1932 to 1933.

Pastor Nielsen is the first of only two pastors we have paid ourselves directly and fully; all his successors except Assistant Pastor Jens Hansen have been paid through Dansk Kirke i Udlandet or Danske Sømands- og Udlandskirker .

Pastor Nielsen was the first to suggest using English for part of the church’s work: for the youth group. During Pastor Nielsen’s tenure we purchase the property at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Burns Street (now Prince Albert Street) in Vancouver that later becomes the site of the first Danish Lutheran Church in Vancouver.

Pastor Sørensen Clemens Sørensen from 1935 to 1945.

I drog ud!
Jeg bar bud
ad milevide veje:
Fædres tro
hvor I bo,
er slægtens dyrest’ eje.
Cl. Sørensen

Born in 1899; worked his way up from sailor to captain; Cand. Theol. from the University of Copenhagen 1935; then DKU pastor in Vancouver until 1945; pastor at Vor Frue Kirke in Svendborg until his death in 1953.

We built our first church during Pastor Sørensen’s tenure. Pastor Sørensen wrote poetry, although he never published any. Our motto, Fædrenes tro | hvor I bo, | er slægtens dyreste eje (Our ancestral faith where we live is our most treasured inheritance), is taken from one of his poems. In 1945 Pastor Sørensen told his successor, Pastor Rudolph Arendt, that the congregation especially liked singing Har hånd du lagt på Herrens plov (Have to the plough you put your hand, GGG285) and Foragter ej de ringe dage (Do not despise the days of small things, mlh01).

Pastor Rudolph Arendt Rudolph Arendt from 1945 to 1950.

Vancouver was Pastor Arendt’s first call. After leaving Vancouver, Pastor Arendt became pastor in first Ugilt Church near Hjørring, then Tønder Kristkirke; principal of Præstehøjskolen; Cathedral Dean at Skt. Knuds Church, Odense; Dr. Theol. honoris causa 1988. Pastor Arendt, who is now retired, has published several books on theology.

The church bought the parsonage on 19th Avenue across the street from the church a few months after Pastor Arendt arrived. During Pastor Arendt’s tenure our church struggled hard with the balance between our two languages and to which extent we wanted to remain Danish.

Pastor Kronborg Peder Kronborg from 1951 to 1959.

Pastor Kronborg served in Skt. Markus Church in Aalborg and Vang Church near Thisted before he came to Vancouver; then pastor in Skt. Clemens Church in Randers and Hasle Church.

Many Danes immigrated to Vancouver during Pastor Kronborg’s tenure; he spent a lot of effort helping the newcomers, integrating them into the church, and adapting the church to the new balance of “old” and “new” Danes.

Pastor Vang Arnold Vang from 1959 to 1966.

Born in 1904, Pastor Vang served in Vejlby Church near Århus, Søby Church near Assens, and Skt. Stefans Church in Copenhagen until 1939; then Fraugde Church near Odense, until he came to us in 1959. In 1966 he left us for Sandby Church near Næstved. Pastor Vang died in 1987.

Shortly after arriving in Vancouver, Pastor Vang bought the property Granly in Surrey. Here Pastor Vang began mission work among the Danes. When Pastor Vang left for Denmark in 1966, our church bought Granly to continue the Church Services and Sunday School in Surrey.

Pastor Rasmussen Immanuel Rasmussen from 1966 to 1979.

Pastor Rasmussen served in Frederiksberg Slotskirke, Hyltebjerg Church, Vanløse, and Hamilton, Ontario, before he came to us in 1966. Pastor Rasmussen retired in 1979 and lived in Greater Vancouver until his death in 1996.

Tider skal komme,
tider skal henrulle,
slægt skal følge slægters gang;
aldrig forstummer
tonen fra Himlen
i sjælens glade pilgrimssang.
Ingemann, GGG77, stanza 2.

Pastor Rasmussen instituted that we end every service singing Tider skal komme, and he left us a few favourite expressions:

Assistant Pastor Jens Hansen Jens Hansen, Assistant Pastor, from 1968 to 1975.

Assistant Pastor Hansen came to us from the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum, Brødremenigheden).

We hired Pastor Hansen directly (not through Dansk Kirke i Udlandet) as a help for Pastor Rasmussen as our church grew, especially in Surrey. Pastor Hansen’s presence also allowed our mission in Victoria on Vancouver Island to expand to Nanaimo.

Pastor Jens Arendt Jens Arendt from 1979 to 1986.

Born in 1946; son of Pastor Rudolph Arendt. Pastor Arendt served in Nylarsker Church on Bornholm until he came to us in 1979; from 1986 he was first pastor in Skt. Nicolai Church in Rønne, then cathedral dean in Roskilde Domkirke. Pastor Arendt has been a member of the board of Dansk Kirke i Udlandet since 1989, vice-president since 1990, and president since 1995.

Our church moved out from Vancouver to the suburb of Burnaby during pastor Arendt’s tenure. That we distribute an Order of Service at each service was originally Pastor Arendt’s idea. He also instituted the Church Coffee following the service; how did Danes have a church without coffee?

Pastor Faarvang Svend Faarvang from 1986 to 1991.

Pastor Faarvang served in Strib–Røjleskov Churches until he came to us in 1986; he is now pastor in Tommerup–Broholm Churches. Pastor Faarvang is a member of the board of the Scandinavian Canadian American Friendship Association.

You can read (in Danish) about Pastor Faarvang’s time in North America on his homepage.

Pastor Faarvang extended the Church Coffee following the service to a monthly Church Lunch.

Pastor Glud Kai Glud from 1991 to 2004.

Pastor Glud was first educated as a university bookseller, then employed by the KFUM og K (the YMCA/YWCA in Denmark) as a secretary. Pastor Glud served in Lemvig–HeldumNørlem Churches, Hjordkær Church, and Rønninge–Roldsted Churches before he came to us in 1991. Pastor Glud retired in 2004 and lived on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver till his death on September 8th, 2007.

Pastor Glud instigated our publication of the hymnal Grant me, God, the Gift of Singing, and he came up with the idea that we could use our dolmen as a scattering garden.

Pastor Kristoffersen Søren Kristoffersen from 2004 to 2006.

Pastor Kristoffersen came to us after twelve years in his first call, Skovby–Ore–Guldbjerg churches near Bogense on Fyn. Pastor Kristoffersen now serves at Vestervang Church and Helsingør Hospital.

Pastor Toftdahl Bodil Toftdahl from 2006 to 2012.

Pastor Toftdahl came to us from Paarup Church near Odense. Before that, she has served at Korup Church (near Odense), Highwood Lutheran Church (in Calgary), and Aa-Kirke Church (on Bornholm). Pastor Toftdahl left us for Nr. Omme and Ørnhøj churches west of Herning.

Pastor Toftdahl enriched our church with a lot of music: she was instrumental in establishing the Youth Choir, and being an accomplished amateur cellist and trombonist she attracted several other musicians to play anything from chamber music to brass band.

Pastor Saltorp Birgitte Saltorp from 2012 to 2017.

Pastor Saltorp has served in Tømmerup parish near Kalundborg and has taught at Højskolen Marielyst.

During Pastor Saltorp's tenure, our church struggled with declining membership and attendance despite several mostly faith-centred initiatives. The demographics of the Danish community in and around Vancouver is clearly working against us.

Pastor Saltorp returned to Denmark to embark on a new career as a guest speaker on a variety of topics.

Pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen from 2017 to 2022.

Before arriving in Vancouver, Pastor Rasmussen served in Christians Kirke (in Copenhagen) and Sundby Kirke (on the island of Amager).

Pastor Carsten Hansen Carsten Hansen from 2022.