In 1967 R. K. (Randy) Mortenson, the youngest of Donald and Juliette Mortenson's six children, was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. It didn't take long for his family to find out writing was in his future.
By the fifth grade, Randy was already a published author having been paid $5 for a poem that appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune supplement, The Smile Factory. It was then that he discovered the power of a good story.
He joined a swimming team --- the Brooklyn Park Bluefins --- in 2nd grade, when he could barely swim the length of the pool. By high school he was co-captain of the swimming team and earned All-American honors on a state record-setting 400 free relay in 1985. He was also president of the National Honor Society.
After one year of college and then two years in the Army, Randy returned to college at the University of Wisconsin --- Eau Claire, where he was captain of the swimming team, an All-American, a DJ on campus radio, and involved with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Raised in the Lutheran Church, Randy found he was challenged by Campus Crusade to share his faith with others. The importance of the Great Commission to reach the world for Christ was set in his heart. During a spring break trip to Daytona Beach for a Campus Crusade outreach and conference, he sensed God calling him to pursue more studies in theology and ministry. In December 1992, Randy met Eau Claire native Betsy Johnson. He proposed to her in June of 1993, and in December of that year they were married.
After college, Randy attended Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. After graduation in 1996, he and Betsy moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he was ordained and served as pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
In the spring of 1998, Randy received a recruitment letter from the Navy inviting him to consider a career as a Navy chaplain. After months of prayer, he answered the call and has been serving in that capacity ever since. His assignments have taken him to the Persian Gulf, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Hawaii, Brunei, Indonesia (Surabaya and Bali), Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. As a chaplain, he has been responsible for leading more than a dozen projects at schools, orphanages, a home for the handicapped, and a hospital in these countries.
Kyra Lee was born August 4, 2003 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and in February 2004 the Mortenson family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. Randy currently serves as a Protestant staff chaplain at Naval Station Mayport. He serves the sailors assigned to the base, as well as the civilian employees, and their families, and he also ministers to the congregation at the Chapel by the Sea.
R. K. Mortenson