By Sandi Latimer
For several years Ben Zamzow and a couple of good friends traveled the country playing acoustic rock and recording songs.
“We had a gig about five nights a week,” said Zamzow, now fully settled into a career spawned by his first love and focusing on a more solid future.
Although he loved music, the performing and the recording, he began to question his future. He had attended Wisconsin Lutheran College with dreams of being either a history or English teacher following in the footsteps of this father who was principal of his high school. He also had attended Martin Luther College, to pursue another fork in his dreams – going into the ministry.
The three-piece band broke up, but the friendship didn’t. Each still has recording equipment and can email music tracks to each other. The other guitar player, he says, is a chef and the drummer is in public safety.
“We’re still the best of friends,” Zamzow said.
Zamzow is the newly arrived vicar at the Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church on White Road. A vicar is similar to a college student doing an internship.
Zamzow was 25 when he decided to return to the ministry. He was working in a factory at the time. Earlier he had assisted the pastor of his church in the north woods of Wisconsin, teaching Sunday School classes, working with young people and accompanying the pastor on visits to shut-ins, prisons, and to delinquent members.
At Beautiful Savior, he’ll do much of the same.
“The pastor’s job is to serve the congregation,” he explained. “My job is to serve the pastor.”
He’ll be doing some preaching also; not only at Beautiful Savior, but at churches in northwest Ohio.
When his year is up in Grove City, he’ll return for his final year at Martin Luther where not long after his re-enrolling, he met Marina who was studying to become a pre-school teacher.
She is now his wife and mother to their 14-month-old son, Otto. Her aspirations of teaching pre-school are on hold, but she can be seen at times helping out at the church.
By the conclusion of Zamzow’s final year at Martin Luther, he will have been evaluated by his teachers and pastors and recommended for an appointment to a church.
“Last year, there were two times as many churches seeking pastors as there were candidates,” he said.
As he studies the Biblical lessons in preparation for writing sermons, his guitar stands close by. Is there a place in the church for the guitar?
“I still like the big organ,” Zamzow admitted. “But ‘Silent Night’ at Christmas, that’s a natural for the guitar.”