ST. CLOUD -- A new leader for Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity will take over in the new year.

Rick Nelson has been named their new Executive Director. Nelson is originally from Woodbury and has spent several years in community leadership roles.

Nelson says his main challenges will be finding ways to serve the community more and community engagement.

"I look forward to watching people coming together, working side-by-side with others, raising money, and continue to keep the organization creditable and lively and engaged with the four county area we serve."

Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity Board President Dave Jacobs says the board is excited to name Nelson as its next executive director.

"We look forward to introducing Rick to our donors, volunteers and community partners to continue critical work of making homeownership affordable for more families in our region."

Nelson has his doctorate in Leadership from Luther Seminary. He has served as a consultant and coach for non-profit organizations. He was also a Senior Pastor of Lutheran churches in California, Montana, Arizona and Minneapolis.

Nelson was also the 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.

Nelson says he looks forward to becoming a part of Central Minnesota and making a difference in the community.

"It will be a privilege to lead an organization like this and work towards the harmony and great work that can come from the community."

Nelson will officially take over leading the 28-year-old organization January 1, 2018.