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Connections across the Dakotas: Meet Bishop Laurie Haller

By: Dave Stucke and Doreen Gosmire, Dakotas Conference communications

Bishop Laurie Haller is serving as the interim bishop for the Dakotas Conference. She also serves as the resident bishop for the Iowa Area of The United Methodist Church. 

In this video interview, she shares about her ministry journey. "I never would have imagined that I would be a bishop serving the United Methodist Church," says Bishop Haller.

She grew up  in the Mennonite faith, and had uncles and great uncles who were pastors. When Bishop Laurie went to college and graduate school, she felt a call to ministry. However, women couldn’t be pastors in the Mennonite church.

Bishop Haller initially thought she would be a church organist. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where she spent her junior year studying sacred music at the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule in West Berlin, Germany. She also received a Master of Music degree in organ performance from the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music, and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School.

For more than 40 years, Bishop Laurie has been striving to run daily.  She has run the Boston Marathon 10 times. You can also find her riding bike. She has participated in the Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), marathons and triatholons.  She has completed three Ironman triathlons.  She does some hiking and climbing and completed the rim-to-rim hike at the Grand Canyon. 

Bishop Haller is married to Rev. Gary Haller. They have three children and two grandchildren.  

UMC

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