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New minister drives great lengths to city

There’s a new face in town and beginning Jan. 31 he’ll be standing behind the pulpit at the First Presbyterian Church.

Dale Sallans and his wife of 32 years, Nancy, drove some 1,426 miles to Andalusia.

“But, who’s counting,” he said, referring to the miles it took to get here.

Exactly how did a minister from Platte, S.D., get to Andalusia?

“The church was seeking a pastor,” Sallans said. “We wanted to move to southern Alabama because our family lives in Ozark.”

For the Sallans family, Andalusia was a compelling place to pick up and move to.

“We really fell in love with Andalusia,” Sallans said. “It felt like home.”

Sallans has been in the ministry for 20 years and calls it his “second career.”

His first career was in law enforcement, where he served as a deputy sheriff. In addition, he was an instructor at a law enforcement academy.

Sallans said he is looking forward to many things in his move to Andalusia.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my family more often,” he said. “It’s a new culture. We have a lot to learn. We’re looking forward to meeting the people in the church and in the community.”

Sallans said being active in the community is important.

“We try to be active in the community,” Sallans said. “We will see where they need us.”

Help from the community will be essential to the Sallanses.

“We don’t know enough, yet, to know what to ask,” Sallans said. “We will need a lot of help from the community.”

Having lived in South Dakota, the Sallanses are looking forward to the warmer Alabama weather.

“We left 30 inches of snow,” Sallans said.

“We hadn’t seen the street in front of our home in seven weeks. We had 10 days of below zero weather.”

Sallans said he and his wife took advantage of the warmer weather when they got to Andalusia earlier this week.

“We couldn’t wait to get in our Mustang convertible and let the top down,” he said. “If you see a couple in a red Mustang convertible, it’s probably going to be us.”