University in 1983. After working for Wang Computers for a few years, she enrolled in the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and was ordained in 1991.
Sarah’s parents owned a cottage at Little Point Sable and she has cherished memories of growing up there each summer. She married a fruit farmer whose farm bordered the Little Point Sable Association, Paul Byl.
With Paul, Sarah had three children. Her oldest, Hannah, is now a senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Communications. She is a producer for U of M’s television station and president of the Scandinavian Club. Sarah’s son, Willem, is in his sophomore year at Michigan State University, pursuing a field in the sciences. He is active in his fraternity and intramural sports, especially basketball. Linnea, Sarah’s youngest, is a sophomore at North Muskegon High School. She keeps busy with the youth group at First Lutheran, her job, and French Club. She is looking forward to taking part in an exchange program in France, next summer.
Sarah has been blessed to serve a number of congregations here in West Michigan. She began her ministry at Emanuel in Ludington, then went on to serve three churches in Muskegon – Immanuel, First Lutheran, and St. Luke’s. She also worked as the Spiritual Director for Harbor Hospice and as a Funeral Arranger for Clock Funeral Home in Muskegon; because of her brother’s death, Sarah has a heart for grief counseling and pastoral ministry.
Because of health issues with her back and resulting migraines, Sarah had to leave pastoral ministry for seven years but is thrilled that through recent medical advances her health problems have become manageable, allowing her to return to full time ministry.
In her free time, Sarah works on her goldendoodle breeding business and enjoys various hobbies. She loves to sew, a skill she picked up from her mother, and work on her home. But her favorite thing to do is spend time with her children and her larger family.