Thrivent Financial partners with CMHFH on Thrivent Builds #26

Thrivent Financial, CMHFH’s 2017 Business Partner of the Year, is partnering with CMHFH on Thrivent Builds #26 in 2018!

Over the past 10 years, Thrivent Financial has awarded over $2 million in grants to Central Minnesota, helping 25 families attain safe, affordable housing.  The grant, a part of the Thrivent Builds program, provides half of the financial support needed to build a home. The rest of the support is raised from local businesses, churches, and members of the community. The homes are built by volunteers from sponsoring businesses, churches, the partner family and the general public.

Construction is set to start this summer on the 4-bedroom home on Clearwater Road.

CMHFH kicks off New Year with new Executive Director

Rick Nelson has been named Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity’s new Executive Director. Nelson is poised to lead the 28-year-old organization beginning right away in 2018 and aims to sustain and grow CMHFH’s impact in the greater St. Cloud region. He comes to St. Cloud from Woodbury, Minn. and brings decades of experience leading faith communities and engaging in community service efforts to end homelessness, poverty, and promote wellness and social justice.
Board President Dave Jacobs says, “The CMHFH Board of Directors is absolutely thrilled to name Rick Nelson as our next Executive Director. His depth of experience, enthusiasm for mission, and ties to the Central Minnesota community combine to make him the ideal leader for our next phase of development. We look forward to introducing Rick to our donors, volunteers and community partners to continue the critical work of making homeownership affordable for more families in our region.”
Nelson earned his doctorate in Leadership from Luther Seminary. In recent years, he has served as a consultant and coach to nonprofit organizations and their leaders. Previously, Rick served as Senior Pastor of Lutheran churches in California, Montana, Arizona, and in Minneapolis; Board Chair of Lutheran World Relief; Director of Development for Children’s Law Center of Minnesota; and Director of Worship Arts at Peace Church in Eagan. He and his wife, Kristen, who is from Stearns County, look forward to being closer to family and to becoming engaged once again with the four county area Central MN Habitat for Humanity serves.
Nelson says, “I am so glad for this opportunity to lead a nonprofit organization within the greater St. Cloud community-such great people here, and to be part of a proven movement within God’s world working to help others in the name of Jesus to enjoy their very best lives is a privilege. It is exciting to walk together into God’s marvelous future, making a difference one life at a time.”

Executive Director Bruce Johnson to Retire; Board Begins Search


After nine years of service to mission, Executive Director Bruce Johnson will retire from CMHFH in December 2017.

As board chair, I’ve had the honor of working alongside Bruce and have witnessed first-hand, the incredible passion and dedication to mission he has demonstrated as our leader.

As prescribed in the Executive Director Succession Plan adopted by the Board several years ago, I have appointed an Executive Transition committee that has been tasked with selecting CMHFH’s next Executive Director. As a part of that process, we invite you to join us for an open forum on October 5 at the SCSU Welcome Center from 4:30 to 6:00 where supporters of CMHFH are invited to offer their feedback on the future leader for CMHFH.

Bruce shares:

“I am grateful for the blessings that holding this leadership position has brought to me over the past nine years. The people I’ve met and worked with along the way, and the opportunities that have unfolded for affordable housing in our community have been both meaningful and fulfilling. After serving as an Executive Director in the nonprofit sector for 25 years, God is calling me down a different path. I am looking forward to discovering what God has planned for me in this next phase, and to cheering on the CMHFH staff team and board as they embrace the future of affordable housing in Central Minnesota.”


CMHFH blossomed under Bruce’s leadership. Thanks to his vision, passion and tireless dedication to mission, we expect to soon reach two major milestones: 100 houses built in Central MN and 100 houses built abroad.

Bruce leaves a legacy of community connectedness, grassroots involvement and organizational growth in Central Minnesota. The board is grateful to Bruce for his steady and dedicated leadership in the community over the past decade and looks forward to working with him to create a seamless transition of leadership to secure the future of CMHFH.


David M. Jacobs
Board Chair