Pictured above: Christ Our Savior, Collinsville, Ill.
The Board for Home Missions approved financial support for home mission churches in five new locations in 2021, including:
- Waco, Texas: The Heart of Texas mission core group has been meeting regularly since March 2020. This mission is being supported by Trinity in nearby Temple, Texas.
- Durham, N.C.: Gethsemane, the WELS congregation in Raleigh, N.C., is launching a second site in nearby Durham. The gospel is especially needed in this area, as studies show that 75 percent of people in the area do not know their Savior.
- Parrish, Fla.: This new mission plant is being started and supported by Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch, a previous home mission church that recently became self-supporting. Ascension in Sarasota is also supporting this new mission site, which is reaching out with the gospel to a community that is 85 percent unchurched.
- Dickinson, N.D.: A committed core group has been meeting regularly for livestreamed worship and monthly gatherings since 2012, served by pastors from Redeemer, Mandan, N.D., and Our Saviour’s, Bismarck, N.D. Those two congregations as well as Salem, Circle, Mont., will be supporting this new mission start named Amazing Grace.
- Collinsville, Ill.: Christ Our Savior, Collinsville, Ill., has served as a preaching station of Martin Luther, St. Louis, Mo., since 2002. Home Missions is now providing funding to Christ Our Savior to call its own pastor. The group pictured (right) took an evangelism and outreach training course from Praise and Proclaim Ministries in October 2021 and is looking forward to reaching out to its community with its new pastor.
In 2021, Home Missions approved financial support for four existing ministries, including King of Kings, Willoughby, Ohio; Christ the Rock, Hutto, Texas; Ascension, Crossville, Tenn.; and Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev. Home Missions also approved unsubsidized mission status for Redeemer, Fallbrook, Calif.; St. John’s on the Hillside, Milwaukee, Wis.; and Good Shepherd, Beloit, Wis. Home Missions provides assistance to unsubsidized mission congregations through its district missions boards, mission counselors, synodical support staff, and special project funds, but does not provide direct financial support.
From One Generation to Another
Rev. Paul Bourman presents a children’s devotion at Hope, Tigard, Ore. Hope is one of the 132 congregations that Home Missions supported in 2021.
Intown Lutheran, Atlanta, Ga.
On October 17, 2021, Rev. Lucas Bitter, pastor at Intown Lutheran, Atlanta, Ga., baptized Lauren Glenney. Bitter began reaching out to those in the heart of the city in 2017. This home mission has created deep roots in its community through local service projects and fellowship events. Members let their lights shine as they interact with their neighbors.
Salvador, a Spanish-speaker who lives in Denver, Colo., began studying virtually with Academia Cristo and then sought a local congregation that would teach the same things as Academia Cristo. He found Christ Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterano Cristo, WELS’ home mission in Denver, which offers Spanish worship services. Salvador’s children were recently baptized (pictured with Rev. Paul Biedenbender), the family attends church regularly, and Salvador is training to become a leader in the congregation.
Campus ministry students in Milwaukee, Wis., volunteered at the WELS Bargain Center, which supports its ministry, in September 2021. Home Missions provided funding to 25 campus ministries in 2021. A full-time campus ministry mission counselor, Rev. Dan Lindner, is now serving all WELS campus ministries.
Did you know?
In July 2021, the synod in convention approved a WELS Home Missions initiative to plant 100 new home mission churches and enhance 75 existing ministries from 2023–2033.
November 2021 WELS Connection