Pastor Dan Nefzger
Pastor Daniel Charles Nefzger, age 72, passed peacefully away at the family farm near Vida, Mont., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, and went immediately into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dan is safely home; his mansion in Heaven was ready. Dan is right now sitting at the feet of Jesus, having fellowship with his Lord that he loved so much.
Dan was born June 20, 1951, the oldest child of Donald Deane and Anna (Schlenker) Nefzger. He was later joined by his sister, Deanna (Dea), and a younger brother, Darrell. He grew up on his family’s wheat farm near Vida, also raising cattle.
Dan attended the local grade school at Vida for three years, completing his education through grade 12 in Circle. He excelled in science and math, and loved sports, playing baseball, football and basketball in school. In college, Dan loved to ski, living less than a mile from Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, going to classes in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. Such was the good life! He would later play men’s softball, basketball, bowling and golf in his early adult years.
Dan graduated from Montana State University in 1974 with a degree in chemical engineering. He worked as a chemical engineer with Dow Chemical in Freeport (Lake Jackson), Texas, but the pull of the farm had its calling and he returned to farm with his dad, purchased some land of his own and retired from farming in 2016. Dan also spent a number of winters working for Western Geophysical as a surveyor, even working in the far reaches of Canada.
His interest in spiritual things resulted in Dan accepting Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior in 1988. He became very active in his church, first working with the youth, then sharing God’s Word from the pulpit when and wherever he was asked. Dan had a spiritual gift of teaching which he used throughout churches in eastern, northern, southern and central Montana. Darrell remembers Dan telling him about 15 years ago that he had spoken in 52 different churches. He wasn’t finished yet and filled the pulpit for extended periods of time at the Richey Christian & Missionary Alliance, the Circle Baptist Church, four years as the pastor of the Fallon Evangelical Church and the last 11 months at Lustre’s Evangelical Mennonite Church. Dan had just had his farewell with them; visiting the Fallon Church on Oct. 1 and his last Sunday visiting at Lustre was Oct. 8, just two days before his homegoing. Dan knew many believers across the state and especially had a heart for the youth, that they would accept Jesus as Savior. He still kept in contact with many youth, still watching Terry, Lustre, Circle and the Bloomfield youth at Richey games on the internet. Every Sunday evening when Darrell arrived home, he would ask about the youth at Coalridge Mennonite Church.
Dan graduated with a master’s degree in historical theology from Briercrest Biblical Seminary in Saskatchewan in 2007. Dan was very passionate about Biblical Creationism, believing God’s Word about our origins, a literal seven-day Creation week. He also believed God’s promises about the Rapture and seven years later the Second Coming of Jesus. Dan was an avid reader and enjoyed writing his weekly messages. He was still writing articles for the Terry Tribune, years after his ministry there and also wrote for the Circle Banner.
Dan was also passionate about God’s Word reaching people every day; he spent 13 plus years on the board of directors with Friends of Christian Radio and their radio station KGLE; those years were a highlight of his life. Dan loved to visit with neighbors and friends who would check in on him: Coy and Mary, Kelly, Steve E., Dave and Jacob. Many hours were spent on the phone with Bruce, Faye and Julie.
Dan was preceded in death by his grandparents, Charles Henry (Dick) and Katie (Mc-Farlane) Nefzger; maternal grandparents, Dan and Mary (Neuhardt) Schlenker; his father, Deane; and his mother, Anna.
Dan is survived by his sister, Dea and her husband Craig Hostetler of Glendive; and his brother, Darrell and his wife Patti of Bloomfield. As Dan was not especially fond of flowers, please make donations to Gideons International or Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, PO Box 908, Bellmawr, NJ 08099.
It is hard to be sad that Dan is gone, because he is not. Dan’s soul is very much alive and living in the presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ. He is safe in the arms of Jesus for all of eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “Death is swallowed up in victory, O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting? … but thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, 11 a.m. at the Circle Evangelical Church.