When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere.

When we study the Bible and pray, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.

When we serve others and address social issues that affect the common good, we live out our Christian faith.


Church Services:


5:00 PM Worship Service


9:00 AM Worship Service

Upcoming Events:

Special Congregational Meeting
Sunday, July 10th after Worship Service

Vacation Bible School
Mark your calendars, parents, because Vacation Bible School will be held July 18-22 and will again be led by the Outlaw Ranch counselors.

Farewell Party
Farewell party for the Otterman's on July 24th from 3-5pm @ church

More information on all of these events and more read our Church Newsletter.

St. James Radio

St. James Radio Broadcast

Did you realize that on those days that you just can’t make it to church, you could listen to the broadcast on local radio stations? Turn your radio to either KBFS-AM at 1450 or KYDT-FM at 103.1, and you will hear our worship service at 9:00 AM every Sunday. We know we have a number of regular listeners, and we do greatly appreciate your input on how the service is coming over the air. Please call the church at 723-3923 and let us know if there is some way we can improve the broadcast.


St. James Lutheran Church


Whether you are a new member or just visiting, we want to let you know how excited we are in having you here. Our web site contains helpful information about the varied ministries and programs of St. James Lutheran Church.

St. James membership is comprised of individuals of all ages and diverse backgrounds. We faithfully preach and teach the living word of God to help you further develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Then, we nurture Christian lives by meeting spiritual needs and make disciples through our witness. We are, by the grace of God, the St. James Lutheran Church.

Please consider yourself an important part of the St. James Church family. Here you will find a church in which you will be welcomed, greeted, loved, and cared for, in the name of Jesus the Risen Savior. There is a very special place for you at St. James, and if you haven't already, we hope you will consider making St. James your church home.


A Message from Pastor Jeff

Dear St. James Lutheran Family and Friends,

This is my final newsletter to all of you as your pastor at St. James Lutheran, for my final day will be July 31, 2016. Yet many will find solace that I am not that far away and still staying in South Dakota serving in Yankton at Trinity Lutheran Church. When I started in 2005, I was a beaten down pastor from my first call, and I was wounded to my very soul for the pain that was inflicted, not only on me but all of my family. There was a time when I thought I might never have the honor to serve
again, and when you called me to serve you, I dedicated my life to you, and I tried to do my very best. You have all been faithful to my call while I have been here, and I give thanks for the relationships that we have worked for the many years that I have served.

It was an honor serving all of you as pastor in Word and Sacrament at St. James Lutheran Church in the "Center of the Nation", Belle Fourche, South Dakota. In truth, you have been a great part of my healing and my family's healing and have allowed me to be myself while also being your pastor. Though I may be different from many of my colleagues, I am hopeful that my unique qualities were helpful to the majority of you over the years.

In almost a dozen years, we have become a church that looks beyond its own walls and cares for the concerns of others who are not even part of this community. My prayers are with all of you who seek after the next pastor, whoever that may be, and that you allow them to develop much like you allowed me to develop. Know that their gifts will be different from mine even though the emphasis may be the same. For the many things that we have accomplished over the years, may you find solace in those people who have been touched by this ministry. Know that the ministry is never about one person and most importantly not about the pastor. If you have had a personal relationship with me, know that we will continue to be friends. But once I am done here, as a pastor, I am bound by a covenant not to interfere with pastoral duties. It would be unethical, and the decision for who the next pastor will be rests solely with all of you and the Holy Spirit. You will always have my prayers, and I will always be available to aid in future youth endeavors that might include both churches as part of the South Dakota Synod.

As of July 29, the Otterman address will be 1211 West 17th Street, Yankton, South Dakota 57078. I will be praying for your discernment in call and look forward to seeing you in the future. God's grace and peace be with you always.

Pastor Jeff M. Otterman


Church Notes:

Words from the Congregation President

Many of you are familiar with the process of calling a pastor. It is a time when we all, and especially
the call committee, reflect on who we are as a congregation. What are we good at, what needs improvement; where do we want to be in a year, two years, five years? What qualities do we need in a
pastor to accomplish our goals? How can our talents complement a new pastor's gifts? What do we need help on? These are the kinds of questions the call committee will be working with in the parish study.

We will be relying on Synod support during this time, both in accomplishing the parish study and during the search for a pastoral candidate. We also will get help from the Synod with "pulpit supply" pastors and possibly an interim pastor. Our deacons are already looking into various options and possibilities.

During this congregation's last pastoral vacancy ten years ago, we had a strong committee organization
that maintained the ministries and functions of the church. The committees have fallen into misuse over the years, but now is the time to rebuild them. Please prayerfully consider what committee or committees you could serve on. One member of each committee is a council liaison; that person for each committee is listed below. Feel free to talk to them, to me, or to any council member for more information.

The duties of each committee are listed below. Some of them are a little dated after more than fifteen
years; also, the listed duties are not meant to limit what a committee does.

By all working together we can use this time for re-direction, renewal and even growth. Please keep
this congregation, and its leadership, in your prayers.

Paul Turbiville

Building and Grounds Committee – Steve Jakober
1. Periodically prepare a repairs and building needs assessment.
2. Evaluate a planned maintenance system; implement any such adopted system.
3. Maintain an ongoing "to do" list.
4. Arrange for normal maintenance, i.e. snow shoveling.
5. Maintain a labor pool list, work to expand a diverse labor pool.
6. Communicate building/grounds needs to the congregation.
7. Communicate with custodian.
8. Consider and plan for emergency procedures.
9. Work with the Board of Trustees in planning the yearly repairs budget.

Evangelism Committee – Ronda Mehrer
1. Develop an outreach plan to bring nonchurched people to St. James.
2. In consultation with the Pastor, plan for training congregation members in discipleship.
3. Train greeters and welcomers to better extend hospitality at church services.
4. Prepare and distribute a visitor brochure highlighting St. James Lutheran, and thanking visitors for attending our church.
5. Develop a program to follow up with visitors, contacting them after they visit our church.
6. Prepare and distribute a new-member information booklet.
7. Consider a "shepherd family" program for new/prospective members.
8. Consider impacting our radio ministry with programs such as Lutheran Vespers.
9. Consider a "Home Visit" program, with members visiting other congregation members.
10. Work to expand our congregation's outreach and evangelism.

Hospitality Committee – Jeri Olson
1. Develop a system of involving all members of the congregation in the planning and hosting of various functions and activities of the congregation as described below:
2. Be responsible for the planning and hosting of the following:
Graduation Recognition
Confirmation Recognition
Christmas Potluck
Easter Brunch
Sunday School Recognition (in conjunction with Education Committee)
Various activities per the Congregation Council direction
3. Be responsible for contacting persons to carry out the responsibility of planning and hosting the functions listed in number 2.


Memorial Fund Committee – Larry Shoemaker
1. Recording and maintaining an up-to-date list of the contributions to the Memorial Fund
and any restrictions/designations that may accompany the contribution.
2. Identify appropriate memorial expenditures.
3. Recording and maintaining disbursements of the contributions to the Memorial Fund.
4. Contacting, if necessary, appropriate parties when restrictions of designations accompany
the contributions to the Memorial Fund prior to their disbursement.
5. Communicate appreciation to the donors.

Missions Committee – Ann Turbiville
1. Bring to the congregation an understanding of our church-wide activities, utilizing resources such as the Synod Missions Program.
2. Promote congregational giving through special offerings.
3. Designate quarterly offerings and promote them.
4. Promote the Compassion Cupboard/Thrift Store, a local mission.

Sound System/Radio/Lighting Committee – Bruce Ude
1. Train a group (perhaps four to eight people) in the use of the sound system.
2. Develop and maintain a procedural manual, which shall be available for general use.
3. Schedule trained members for duty at services to set up microphones and adjust system, etc.
4. Ensure a quality radio broadcast.
5. Work with the lighting system in a similar capacity.

Stewardship/Financial Committee – Curt Shoemaker
1. Communicate the financial needs of the church to the congregation.
2. Promote the Simply Giving program.
3. Look to increase giving through a pledging program.
4. Evaluate various stewardship programs.
5. Implement and promote any adopted stewardship program.

Worship Committee – Mark Stiller
(The Worship Committee was never formally established but is a functioning committee.)
1. Choose music and liturgies for the worship service.
2. Advise the pastor on the conduct of worship services.
3. Recommend changes in worship times.
4. Advise trustees on furnishings or design of the worship space.




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