Rev. Paul Henschen is the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Sturgis. Check out his answers to our questions to get to know him a little and be sure to reach out and extend him a warm welcome!


  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Atlanta, but grew up in Fayetteville, NC. I went to college at Davidson and afterward taught school for four years. After realizing God had been calling me to ministry for most of my life, I headed for seminary at Columbia Theological in Decatur, GA. I was also able to spend a year studying in Scotland. I have served churches in Norton, VA; Welsh, LA (where I also did pastoral counseling for 5 years); Corbin, KY; Ellendale, ND and now Sturgis, SD. I met my wife, Susan, in Louisiana at a restaurant called Randal’s where I asked her to dance. We got married on December 31, 1998. We had our son, Benjamin, on February 29, 2000. Susan has two children from a previous marriage. She is a clinical social worker and does counseling. Benjamin is starting his sophomore year this fall at Dakota State in Madison, where he is studying computers and game design.


  1. What drew you to explore and accept the call to serve the congregation in Sturgis?

The Sturgis PNC and I hit it off from our first video/phone conversation. I have had some experience in church renewal and they were interested in what I had done. After visiting with them, our meetings together led to a deeper connection, and they enjoyed my preaching. After more conversation and another visit, we decided it was a good match. Now after being at the church for about two and a half months, I have found the congregation to be full of joy and to have a very positive spirit—both of which I find to be refreshing and enjoyable. We are just finishing up a week of serving breakfast every day at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and I have been impressed with their drive and compassionate spirit. The people they fed have also been impressed with their caring and positive spirit—as well as the excellent food.


  1. What are you most excited about as you begin your ministry?

So far I have enjoyed getting to know the people at FPC in Sturgis. Again, they are committed and positive about life in general and about serving others in the name of Christ. I am spending my time simply getting to know them for now, and I hope that as I do, I will be guided to a vision of what the future of this church will be. I am excited about planning that future with them, guided by the Spirit of God. Besides the positives about the church, my family and I are excited to live in the beauty of the Black Hills. We have enjoyed some hiking and hope to do a lot more. I also hope to play some of the beautiful golf courses in the area. Susan and I have been blessed to buy a nice home, and we welcome anyone to stop by and see us.


  1. How can we be praying for you?

Pray for God’s guidance in creating a vision for FPC Sturgis. Pray for my preaching and for my efforts to develop meaningful relationships with my people. Pray for Susan to find a counseling position in the area that she will enjoy.