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Reverend John Rister

This is the second time I have pastored this church. The first time was from 2010 to 2014, and came back in 2017 to present. I received my bachelors degree in Pastoral Ministries from Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, CO in 2010. And Ordained in the Church of the Nazarene in 2012.

I am pleased to serve God and this wonderful church and the people in this community.

I also drive bus for the Pine River/Backus school district so if you see me give me a wave. 



I have been married to my wife Julie over 25 years and have two wonderful daughters who are now grown.

Emily is married to Judson and together they have two beautiful children and Abby our youngest is currently working and a full time online student at Bemidji State University. 

Julie works as paraprofessional at the Walker School district as well as part time at the Walker Animal Clinic.  

An inside look into our family life. 

Liz Steffen

Hi everyone. I am Liz Steffen, The Treasurer here at the Backus Church of the Nazarene. I was born and raised in the area. I attended Pine River Elementary School and graduated in 2004 from Pine River-Backus High School.


After high school, I then attended Central Lakes College Brainerd for bookkeeping, and received my Certificate in Bookkeeping in 2011.

My husband, OJ, and I have been married since July 2010. We welcomed our first child, Myra, in May 2014, our second child, Marcus, in September 2015 and our last child, Maverick, in April 2018.


I first attended Backus Church of the Nazarene as a teenager, then after having a family my husband and I decided to attended together. We became members of the church in March 2022 and my husband, daughter and I were baptized on July 24th, 2022.







Along with being the Church Treasurer, I am the secretary for the Backus Fire Department and a Stay at Home mom. I also help in the church nursery and children ministries.

My husband, OJ, helps with children ministries and preteen ministries.  He is also Nisswa Elementary Day Engineer for Brainerd Schools.

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