Former Austin pastor pends book about grandmother’s journey to America

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A former area pastor has written a book about his great grandmother’s journey from Germany to Minnesota. Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn, who left St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Austin in 2002, recently published his book, “No Enduring City: A Story of Death and Life, Faith and Love.”

Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn

Kurtzahn said that he started research on his book in the early 1990s, but his work as a pastor prevented him from finishing it until recently. He described the book as Christian historical fiction: “The story is based on my great-grandmother Johanna’s journey to America. She was a 32-year-old widow with four young children. She moved by herself with her children from Germany to Minnesota, where she lived with her brother who had already settled here.  Johanna met Reinhold, a widowed farmer, who had lost several children during a Diphtheria epidemic. They eventually married and had many more children. Both Johanna and Reinhold were Lutheran Christians who took their faith seriously.”

Kurtzahn also mentioned that we are all descendants of immigrants, or immigrants ourselves. He said that most families probably have an interesting story of when their ancestors came to America.

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Kurtzahn’s book is available on in both Kindle and paperback formats.