Our Pastors....

Pastor Susan Nelson,  grew up in northeastern Ohio, attended Hiram College and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Religion in 1974. She later attended Yale Divinity School and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1977. On the weekend of graduation she married a fellow Divinity student, Paul Nelson. Pastor Sue was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church that same year with a call to hospital chaplaincy at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago. Later, returning to Connecticut, Pastor Sue accepted a call to a church in Bristol, CT where she served for four years while Paul pursued doctoral work at Yale. Their daughter, Kate, was born in 1982. During this time Pastor Sue did preparatory work at Yale Divinity School and the New England Synod of the LCA with the hope of eventually serving as a pastor in the Lutheran Church of America.

The family moved to South Bend, Indiana, where Paul taught at Notre Dame University while Pastor Sue did interim pastoral service at two Lutheran congregations in the area for the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the LCA. In 1985, Paul and Sue moved to Springfield, Ohio where Paul accepted a position as religion professor at Wittenberg University.  Today Paul is the chairman of the Religion Department at Wittenberg.  Pastor Sue was re-ordained in November 1985 into the Lutheran Church of America when she accepted a call to Abiding Christ Lutheran Church.  Their son, John, was born in 1988.

Their daughter Kate is married to Aaron Berlin and live in Chicago where Aaron practices corporate law and Kate works for  the University of Chicago as a Teaching Mentor.  They have a son, Benjamin and a daughter, Elizabeth.  Their son, John, works as a personal research assistant to Henry Kissinger in New York City.

Pastor Craig Fourman, staff lead, was born and raised in Southwest Ohio (West Milton).  He attended Milton Union School, graduating in 1972,  graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio with a BA degree in Political Science and History in 1976 and a minor in music.  He taught High School for a year (Springfield South High School) while pursuing  a Masters Degree in Political Science a Miami University.  He and entered the family furniture business. 

In 1980 he married Leann Shawler, and in 1981 answered the call to ministry, attending Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. – receiving a Masters of Divinity with honors in Old Testament in 1985.  Upon receipt of his first call to Covenant Lutheran Church in St. Paris, Ohio, he was ordained into the Lutheran Church in America on June 16, 1985.  He served there for 6 years and was called as the lead pastor to Abiding Christ Lutheran church in Fairborn in 1991, where he continues to serve as head of staff.

Craig, and his wife Leann reside at 420 Ridgewood Dr in Fairborn.  He has four other daughters, Elizabeth who lives in Dayton, Ohio, Mary, who withe  her spouse Jess, lives in Centerville, Ohio, Leah, who with her husband Josh and children Matthew and Claire live in Centerville and Christa, who with her husband Brian and children Benjamin and Ellison, live in Springboro, Ohio.  

Pastor Craig has served the Southern Ohio Synod in a variety of ways.  He is a former president of the Fairborn Senior Citizens Association,  Fairborn Rotary Club, a member of the Fairborn Lions Club and currently serves as president of the Downtown Fairborn Betterment Association.  He is highly active in ecumenical and community affairs in the city of Fairborn.