Pastor Carlson grew up with twenty-two other siblings in a log cabin in the back woods of Alaska. He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri on May 23, 1997. He has served congregations in South Dakota and Iowa. He was also a Navy/Marine Corps Chaplain and Gulf War veteran. In 2015 he accepted a call to serve Funny River Community Lutheran Church in rural Soldotna, AK (Funny River, where he is currently serving.