Morris G. C. Vaagenes
September 30, 1929 - May 8, 2023
To see the memorial service, click here.
Our hearts are both uplifted and saddened as we announce that Pastor Morris Vaagenes went to his heavenly home last night. Pastor Morris Vaagenes led faithfully at North Heights for 38 years and impacted thousands. He was North Heights' senior pastor from 1961-1999 and pastor emeritus from 1999 to 2023. We mourn for ourselves, but we rejoice greatly for him as he is without a doubt seeing Jesus face to face.
In his earlier years, Vaagenes graduated from Augsburg College (1951) and Augsburg Seminary (1954), received his master of divinity (1970) and then his doctorate at Luther Seminary (1979). Vaagenes also served in Madagascar for four years in the '50s and was president of Renewal International, which supports mission projects in Madagascar and spiritual renewal in churches. Vaagenes' sisters, Lois and Adelaide, were even buried in Madagascar. Vaagenes also has ties to Norway, where both of his parents were born and lived.
Vaagenes impacted thousands from both the pulpit and face to face. He had a heart for kids and families and poured into the next generation. Youth, often intimidated to meet him at first, were immediately relaxed at this down-to-earth nature. Vaagenes would commonly sit with individuals students, drink a pop, and have a conversation before each one was confirmed. He was described as having a great sense of humor and quick wit.
This is a hard loss for many. The Church has lost a prayer warrior and influential figure. A family has lost a beloved member. Hundreds have lost a personal friend. What Pastor Morris Vaagenes started can and will continue. The community can find comfort in his signature prayer: "I can't. You (God) can. Please do. Thank you. Amen."
Pastor Morris Vaagenes' memorial service was Saturday, May 13 at North Heights Church. See the service here.