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Alexandria couple celebrates a combined century in ministry

The Rev. Robert and Mertice Brueske, with a combined total of 105 years in ministry, will celebrate their 50th and 55th anniversaries, respectively, this year.

2013 marks the 55th anniversary of the commissioning of Mertice Brueske as a deaconess in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and the 50th anniversary of the ordination of her husband, the Rev. Robert Brueske, to the pastoral office in the same body.

They have conducted 23 years of their ministry in the Alexandria area.

Robert served as a member of a founding team and was the first director of the Cornerstone Youth Center at 6th and Hawthorne in 1975.

Between 1980 and 1987, at Zion Lutheran Church and School in Alexandria, Robert served as associate pastor, and Mertice was involved in children’s and young adult choir ministries.

In the years of early retirement, Mertice served as adult choir director and organist at Zion. Robert served area pulpits and as a church officer at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Moe Township.

Between 1975 and 1985, they conducted a family singing team ministry with their children, Patrick, Jeffrey and Tara. They performed primarily in outstate Minnesota and northwestern Ontario, Canada.

From 1987 to the late 1990s, while living in the Alexandria area, they helped establish a satellite Christian gospel and social services outreach ministry in a poor colony in Hermosillo, Mexico.

During their ministries, they also pursued graduate studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Robert pursued missions, and Mertice pursued advanced organ instruction.

Mertice has been a piano teacher in Alexandria for more than 10 years and still teaches today.

Over the years, the Brueskes have served as a husband and wife team in parishes in East Northport, Long Island, New York; Wadena; Willmar; Flint, Michigan; and Great Bend, Kansas.

Mertice received her deaconess and parish musician training at Valparaiso University in Indiana, and Robert received his pastoral formation at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

For details about their extended ministry, visit their online Facebook page at