15 Minutes

Rev. Loren Strait

Resides: Des Moines

Hometown: Ottumwa

Family Life

Family: My wife, Mary Strait, is an art educator in the Des Moines Community School District. We have five children, four girls and one boy, ranging in ages from 13 to 23.

Pets: We are raising a Sheltie and a Bernese Mountain dog, as well as Fidget, a cat.

Hobbies and interests: Mary and I are lovers of books and do a great deal of reading. We also enjoy movies. When warm weather arrives, you will find us outside, planting flowers and various plants, walking dogs, grilling vegetables, discerning ways to incorporate art projects in the yard, and sitting on the patio enjoying the sunset. Keep in mind, five children means plenty to do, support, encourage, attend, and participate in, and clean up after.


I am an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and have served congregations in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., and a Masters of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Since April 1, 2013, I have had the honor of serving the people of Marshalltown’s Central Christian Church.

What that means: I have the joy of working alongside a very dedicated and impressive community of faith. In addition to preaching, teaching and going to meetings, I humbly share the journey of their lives. I seek to be a pastoral presence, visiting in homes, being there for critical needs, and working in a manner that is collaborative and confident in the gifts, talents and abilities of all. I’m not one who will tell you what or how to believe, but I will invite you to look deeper and to strive a little more to know the determined faithfulness of God and what that might mean for your life. I will invite you to join me as I try to figure it out myself, encourage you to be kind to yourself, and warn you that there will be many reasons to pause and laugh.


Books: I am a reader, but listing the books that have impacted my life or the titles I am reading right now would be too much. I read to challenge myself, to learn, to laugh, and to keep thinking. I read history, culture and biography among others.

Food: I’ll eat anything but brussels sprouts.


I love living in Iowa. This is my home. The people here can move and inspire your heart and even though there are real differences amid the diversity we continue to strive to find a way to do the right thing.

I hope to be a more active part in the life of Marshalltown. If I were asked to give advice on life I would simply ask what advice you would give. You probably have more to teach me than I have to teach you and I can live with that.