The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Blaster Pastor

He may not be a fire-and-brimstone preacher, but Lance Braun knows how to get the fireworks going.

Nicknamed the "Blaster Pastor," Braun successfully combines his pastoral duties at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Woodstock, Va., with his passion for producing large fireworks shows to music.

"It's just another dimension of who I am," Braun said. "Some pastors collect stamps. Some study butterflies. Others read a lot of books. I do fireworks shows."

As a pyrotechnician, Braun produces about 14 fireworks shows a year. The pastor said he enjoys the calculated science of putting together the exciting, loud, colorful displays that light up the night sky. "The chemistry of fireworks fascinates me," he said. "It's wonderful how you can take a few simple things from the earth — charcoal, saltpeter, sulfur — wrap them up in cardboard, and make them go boom into colorful geometric shapes."

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February issue


Embracing diversity