We have served as ministers of the freedom of the gospel for almost fifty years. Johan graduated from Williams College and then Luther Seminary in 1973. Sonja graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a teaching degree and minors in Music and Dance. We were married at Holden Village, a retreat center in Washington State.
We served three different congregations until 1984 when we began a ministry at a family retreat center called Mount Carmel. We were at Mount Carmel for 28 years. It allowed us to use our gifts in preaching, teaching, organization, counseling, music and fundraising. Our love for people and for creating community provided many opportunities for God’s grace to flow through the ministry of Mount Carmel.
The development of Mount Carmel expanded during our years of service. We paid off the original debt, built a new chapel, lodge and main residence as well as many new and remodeled cabins. When we retired in 2012 we were serving an average of 1600 people each year. In 1997, we began producing a version of a devotional book, Daily Texts, and trained people how to pray using the TRIP method.
In 2002, we began leading tours. As of today we have led 15 tours to Israel, Germany, Greece/Turkey, and Norway. We love creating communities under grace as we travel together.
One of our greatest joys is offering a drama on the life of Martin and Katy Luther in churches and schools around the country. This drama brings to life the message of the forgiveness of sins and the power of salvation in the cross of Jesus Christ.
We currently live in Minneapolis, MN. We have three sons who are all married. We have seven grandchildren. We enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking. Each year we have taken longer hikes including Tour Mont Blanc, the West Highland Way, St. Olav Way, and the Way of St. Francis.
The verse best describes our freedom in Jesus. It is from John 8: 31-32. “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Johan and Sonja Hinderlie