Salem Lutheran Church

Hitterdal, Minnesota


A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

About Interim Pastor Tom Olson

Pr. Tom was born on Dec. 7, 1947 in Fergus Falls, MN and was educated at both Fergus Falls High school (class of ’66) and Fergus Falls Community College (class of ’68). He continued his education at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, earning a Bachelors of Science in English Education, in 1970, and a Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 1977, with a year of military service, from 1970 to 1971, in between. He also took an additional year of training at Luther Seminary in Social Change and Marriage and Family Counseling, from 1977 until 1978.

During his seminary training, he served his yearlong internship at Faith Lutheran Church in Madison, WI, under the supervision of Pr. E. Astrup, and was ordained on July 16, 1978.

Since his ordination, Pr. Tom has served several calls in Minnesota, starting with Revere Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran of Johnsonville Township in Southwestern Minnesota from 1978 until 1981. He then served three continuous calls to Trinity Lutheran in Pelican Rapids, MN from 1981 until 2000; while at Trinity, he served first as the Associate Pastor, then a Partner in Ministry, and finally the Senior Pastor. His final settled call was Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Minnesota from 2000 until 2014, when he retired on July 1.


Since retiring, he has served two interim pastorates in addition to Salem's, one at the Halstad and Hendrum Parish from January to June 2015, and one in Ashby, MN from November 2015 until January 1, 2017.

On a more personal level, he is married to Claudia Olson, who is a retired elementary school teacher, and together they have five children (Hans, Leif, Britta, Ingrid, and Karin), and three grandchildren (Ryker, Elin, and new baby Benjamin). In 2014, Claudia and Tom moved to Hawley, to settle down for retirement.

Pr. Tom’s hobbies include walking and reading.