Who We Are

By the power of God's grace First Lutheran Church celebrates a rich legacy of ministries geared toward meeting the needs of the Williston area community. Today that legacy is lived out through the many ministry opportunities offered.  We believe that it is through God's abundance that we can serve our neighbor, and it is our heritage as Lutheran's that reminds us, God's grace and mercy is for us to share abundantly with others.

Our Mission

Our mission is to invite all people to join with us as we relate to God, nurture faith, and are sent to serve.



Meet The Staff

Brian Knutson, Senior Pastor

Pastor Brian Knutson grew up in North Dakota, Montana, Oregon and Colorado. However, he is very happy to claim that he is 100% Native ND by birth, blood and heritage. Learning to read has been the greatest gift of his life. He is a college graduate from (Western) Oregon, Wyoming, South Dakota and Luther Seminary in 1995 and 2008 with Master and Doctoral Degrees. Pastor Brian has served congregations in Colorado, Oregon, Montana and North Dakota and also retired from the US Air Force as Chaplain in 2014; and traveled world-wide, including both the North and South Poles. He is married to his lovely wife Anita. He has one daughter Sarah who lives in Tacoma Washington. He enjoys adventure, curiosity, movies, big dogs, horses, water, great conversation, good food, and the splendid beauty of the prairie among many other things. His deepest joy remains his faith in Jesus.

Deacon Tara Ulrich, Director of Youth & Congregational Life

Deacon Tara Ulrich grew up in Ashley ND. She attended the University of Mary and Wartburg Theological Seminary; graduating 2001 and 2005 respectfully. Tara was consecrated on April 23, 2006. She has served congregations in Dilworth MN, Beulah ND and Minot ND before coming to First Lutheran. Tara loves writing, photography and spending time with her family and friends. One of Tara’s biggest accomplishments is writing a book "Living as a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness."

Lori Yale, Administrative Assistant

Lori Yale grew up in Bowbells ND. She has been in Williston for the past 35 years and has worked at FLC for the past 11 years. She is married to Wynn in 2016. She has 2 step children and 2 step grandchildren

Charlotte Swensrud, Church Bookkeeper

Charlotte Swensrud grew up on a farm in New Town. Charlotte, her husband, son, and daughter, moved to Williston from New Town in 2003. They joined FLC in 2004. She became an employee of the church in 2008. They now live out of town with our 3 dogs, 3 horses, and 2 fish! She enjoys reading, gardening, walking, fishing, working on outdoor and indoor home improvement projects, and attending to her children’s many musical and art activities.

David Brevik, Property

Bessie Lamer, Church Custodian

Rick Schaafsma, Church Custodian

2018 Congregational Council

Carol Scallon

    Karissa Kjos, Youth & Congregational Life

    Julie Ann Wick, Secretary

Kathy Harger, Memorial

    Colin March, Trust Fund

    Pat Hamers

    Jerad Suess, Vice President, Stewardship

    Marcus Boykin, Stewardship

    James Radtke, Treasurer, Music

    Scott Johnston, Property

Kathleen Sinclair, President

Ron Wright

Dean Natwick