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Former Brainerd pastor dies in Mankato


Members of First Congregational Church United Church of Christ (UCC) in Brainerd on Monday remembered the Rev. Deborah Griffin Celley, who died Friday at her home in Mankato.

Celley, 50, who had been lead pastor at First Congregational Church UCC in Mankato since 2012, served 14 years as pastor of the Brainerd church. She also served churches in Nebraska and Iowa.

She was stricken with a rare form of lymphoma in the spring of 2013. She had left Brainerd in January of 2013.

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Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
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