Churches United Director honored with MoorHeart Award

Rev. Sue Koesterman (right), executive director of Churches United for the Homeless, was presented with January’s MoorHeart Award Monday by Mayor Shelly Carlson. (Photo/City of Moorhead.)

moorhead city council

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

Pastor Sue Koesterman, executive director of Churches United for the Homeless, was honored with the MoorHeart Award at Monday’s Moorhead City Council meeting.

Koesterman, who has led the program for the past six years, was nominated for the award by one of her employees, Shelby Wheeler. It is presented each month to someone who “goes above and beyond to demonstrate the spirit of community by their actions and service,” according to the award guidelines.

The Lutheran pastor, who grew up in Fargo, heads a staff of about 70 employees who operate Churches United’s programs, including Micah’s Mission, the Dorothy Day House, two Dorothy Day Food Pantries in Moorhead and West Fargo, and the Bright Sky Apartments, along with the upcoming Silver Linings Apartments expected to break ground this summer.

In her nomination, Wheeler wrote, “Pastor Sue reminds all of us in Moorhead to stay flexible and positive through the uncertainty we may all eventually have in our lives. Her leadership qualities are outstanding. Her unceasing drive to help our neighbors and friends in need is a bacon for others who need the help. For those with help to give, Pastor Sue gives the direction that is needed.”

She added, “She even took an extra step — or paw — by having her rescue dog, Wanda, certified as an emotional support animal. She shares Koesterman’s office at Micah’s Mission.

For more information on nominating others who are doing great things for the community, large and small, go to and search “MoorHeart.”

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