Pastor Kiessling was born in Albion, Michigan. His father passed away when he was thirteen. His moved with his mother and twin sisters to Hickory, North Carolina where he attended St. Stephens Lutheran School.
After high school he ventured out to St. Paul Lutheran College, Concordia, Missouri. It is there that he met his wife, Maxine, who became a Lutheran school teacher.
He graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1967. The Lord led them to Hamilton, Montana where he served for 31 years. He had the opportunity to start two new mission congregations in the area. He also served in various District positions.
In 1998 Pastor Kiessling came to Concordia University in Portland as Director of Church Relations. Most recently he served as interim pastor at Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School in Beaverton.
Pastor and Maxine have three children and four grandchildren. Their daughter Julie and her family live in Kansas City, Missouri. Another daughter, Jill, and her family live in Beaverton. Their son Mark and his wife live in St. Louis.