Although Pastor Haakenson was born in Youngstown, Ohio, he grew up on the U.S. Mexican border in Douglas, Arizona. There he attended public schools until enrolling in Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota. Following his graduation in 2000, Pastor Haakenson went on to pursue his Masters of Divinity at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. While there, he served as a vicar in Puerto Rico where he became fluent in Spanish. Upon graduating from the seminary, Pastor Haakenson’s first public ministry assignment was as a missionary to the Dominican Republic. Later, he accepted a Divine Call to begin a Spanish-speaking ministry in Milwaukee, WI. In 2013 Pastor Haakenson switched gears somewhat and became the Campus Pastor of Nebraska Lutheran High School in Waco, Nebraska. That led him to where he currently serves his Savior, right here in Waukegan, IL at Immanuel Lutheran. It’s interesting to note that God has blessed Pastor Haakenson once again with the privilege of establishing a Spanish-speaking ministry alongside the already established congregation at Immanuel. He is also blessed to have his wife, Monica, and his four daughters (Anna, Natalia, Micaela, Eva) serve God alongside him.