Rev. Paul Seefeldt:
I was born the son of a hospital chaplain and an educator. My parents continued their education eventually earning doctorates and becoming professors. I chose to rebel against academia as a youth, and opted to seek an equine career. I had ridden and shown hunters and jumpers and youth, but was led to the racetrack for employment. I worked my way up the ladder there eventually becoming a trainer myself. I trained horse for twenty years. I was a representative for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association for six years and the same for the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association serving for five years. I had a volatile career. At times my stable was full, and I won many races, and at other times there were few horses and wins. Overall it was a successful career. As a trainer I would spend all morning working closely with very poor and indigent people, as well as new immigrants; they comprised my employees and coworkers with the horses. It was not unusual to spend time with some of the most wealthy people in the country—my clients and other horse owners on that same day.
In 1996 I moved my stable from Maryland to Delaware Park and bought a house in Cecil County, Maryland. At that time my ex-wife decided to return to the church of her youth (the PCUSA) and dragged me to a church picnic. At this picnic I experienced a profound peace that changed my life. Curiosity about that peace led me to that church the next Sunday where I heard God’s Word that moved me. I sought to find out why these things were happening to me so I joined the men’s Bible Study. This group of men helped me grow and learn in Christ and also helped me discern a call to ministry. In time they even helped pay for my education. By the time I earned my bachelor’s degree they had given over $29,000 toward my education.
In 2005 shortly before I graduated from Eastern University with a degree in Organizational Management, my ex-wife and myself adopted an eight year old boy and a ten month old girl from Kazakhstan. Within eight months I was a single dad, and a full time seminary student at Palmer Theological Seminary. I used my mother’s estate to finance my seminary education. I met my current wife there, Danica Roki, and international student from Chile. She earned degrees in Theology and International Economic Development from Palmer to go along with her degrees in Journalism and Communication that she earned in Chile. I graduated in 2010.
I served United Presbyterian Church of Denison, Iowa, as Solo Pastor for the last four years. I believe that in that time the church has healed from a nasty church split that occurred prior to my arrival. The church has also shown signs of growth in faith by being excellent givers, and by actively being involved in weekly Bible Studies and other ministries. I also served as the President of the local Ministerial, the Hospice Chaplain for Crawford County, and as the Moderator of the Personnel Committee as well as serving on the CPM for Prospect Hill Presbytery.
In June of 2015 I began ministry as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Somerdale, New Jersey. I currently live in the manse located in Blackwood, New Jersey with my wife Danica, and our two daughters, Lake, now 12, and Sarah who is three. Drew (19) is a student at Iowa State and comes home whenever he can. I have two main hobbies: I collect old bikes and repair them, and I love to garden and work outside. I am fortunate to be able to do the gardening on some property located behind the church office that has sat unused for many years. I have enjoyed clearing that land and preparing it for a garden which I hope will be very productive. I have the same hopes for my ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Somerdale.