David Tielbar, is originally from Guttenberg, Iowa. Prior to enrolling at Wartburg Seminary, David worked in a group home for mentally and physically challenged individuals. David was also a member of the Iowa Army National Guard where he served for 23 years. After retiring from the National Guard, David found himself following a call that has been working within him for quite some time. “I have been on a long journey, at least that’s the way it feels,” says David. “My call to ministry in the beginning was more external. I’d had people tell me that I’d make a good pastor someday. Of course, that didn’t quite jive with me at that point in my life.”
David shared, “But I remember very distinctly, Good Friday in 2002. I had just assisted at Good Friday services. It was a Tenebrae service, and I remember walking home from church. When I got home, I just feeling very peaceful and I just decided to open the Bible and start reading through the passion narrative. It really hit me, I think this is what God is calling me to do. I remember, my wife was at work, so I called my mother. I told her, ‘I think God is calling me to be a pastor.’ She immediately said, ‘David, that’s the Holy Spirit. You need to call pastor.’ And then hung the phone up on me. My mom doesn’t do that, so I called my pastor and he said, ‘I think you need to come down now.’ I did, and five hours later, I walked out of the office and pretty much knew what God was calling me to do. It was Easter Sunday when I made the proclamation to my home congregation and I’ve been on that journey ever since.”
The pastor that walked with David as he felt God calling him to become a pastor is Harold McMillan, Wartburg Seminary Class of ’72. After Holy Week, David and Harold came down to Wartburg Seminary and talked to members of the admissions and vocation team. As David walked down the halls filled with photos of WTS graduates he said, “I can pretty much find everybody that had an influence in my life at some point: baptism, confirmation, Sunday school, you name it, and they are all there. So I had a good idea of where I was going to go for seminary.” After that he started a conversation with the candidacy committee that recommended he get his bachelor’s degree. The degree process took a bit longer than anticipated because of military deployments, but now David graduates this spring from Wartburg Seminary with a Masters in Divinity and will be sent out to serve the church.