Thursday, Jun 20, 2019

Pastor’s goal becomes reality

The Rev. Jeff Borgerson officiated the wedding of Chris Nor and Alexandra Engle earlier this year. Engle was the first baby Borgerson baptized in Harvard 25 years ago. COURTESY PHOTO

How long do you want to stay at the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard? This was the question asked of Jeff Borgerson when he was a candidate to be pastor of the church in 1989.

“My leading by God is to someday conduct the wedding ceremony for one of the babies I baptize here,” Borgerson said.

His goal was realized this summer when, 25 years after he baptized Alexandra Engle, he conducted her wedding to Chris Nor. As it happens, Engle was the first baby he baptized in Harvard in 1989.

As he approached the wedding day, Borgerson said, “The joy of being a pastor is that we get invited into the good things and the hard things of our people’s lives. It is the pastor’s life. We grieve with our folks and we rejoice with our folks.”

Asked how he feels since achieving this goal, Borgerson said, “God impressed on my heart that a pastor’s love for his people should be as steadfast as God’s love for us. My understanding is that God perseveres with us through all our difficulties, and we must persevere with the people we are serving.”

Borgerson continued, “A primary ministry of churches is to bring people into the love of Christ; strengthening families is a great way to do this.”

When asked about his future goals, Borgerson said, “Retirement is a few years away, but, looking at the times in which we live, I must hold on and prepare my congregation for His [Christ’s] return.”

Borgerson has enjoyed the partnerships with the community, such as the churchwide annual Christmas Project. Last year, in various ways, the churches provided for more than 400 families at Christmas.

“For the last seven years, I have been overwhelmed at the town’s churches that come together, care and participate in the Christmas Project. It shows the authenticity of God’s love.”

Borgerson and his wife, Joyce, have two married sons, Jacob and Joel, and two granddaughters, Siri and Mia.

The First Presbyterian Church of Harvard is located at 7100 Harvard Hills Road. For information, visit or call 815-943-4474.