On March 24, WELS Board for Home Missions approved the first new missions and enhancements for the synodwide “100 missions in 10 years” initiative.
“Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” says Rev. Mark Gabb, chairman of WELS Board for Home Missions. “So how does it look to live like we believe this? That’s the question that the Board for Home Missions considered as we reviewed the many new start requests. We knew that there were questions about money and pastors, yet with sanctified common sense we made our decisions based on our trust that God can do immeasurably more.”
The nine new mission starts approved include:
- Bentonville, Ark.: The 12-person core group has been active in its community, which is home to Walmart’s headquarters and is projected to see 35 percent population growth in the next three years.
- Boston, Mass.: The closest WELS church to Boston’s urban center is a 90-minute drive. This urban mission has potential for college and cross-cultural ministry.
- Cincinnati, Ohio: Beautiful Savior, Cincinnati, Ohio, is starting a second site in the Oakley and Hyde Park neighborhoods with a core group of 20 members.
- Idaho Falls, Idaho: With the nearest WELS church three hours away, the 11-person core group has been meeting for weekly Bible studies with a pastor via Zoom.
- Kalispell, Mont.: Kalispell, Mont., is considered the fastest-growing micropolitan city (population of 10,000-50,000) in the United States. The core group has been worshiping together twice a month for more than ten years and participating in regular Bible studies for more than eight years.
- Kronenwetter, Wis.: Five WELS churches in the greater Wausau, Wis., area are supporting this mission, which will worship at Northland Lutheran High School. The 22-member core group has been meeting monthly since December 2021 for Bible study and mission planning.
- Marquette, Mich.: Marquette serves as the hub of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and 52 percent of the people in and around Marquette do not have a home church or attend a church.
- Panama City Beach, Fla.: Amazing Grace, Panama City, Fla., is expanding west and starting a second site in the greater Panama City Beach area.
- North Collin County, Texas: A core group of 15 members from Atonement, Plano, Texas, are part of this new mission in a northern suburb of Dallas. Divine Savior Ministries, a WELS-affiliated organization with four church/school campuses, has partnered with the mission and plans to build a Divine Savior Academy by year five of the mission start.
The Board for Home Missions is also financially supporting ministry enhancements for Beautiful Savior, West Des Moines, Iowa; Fairview, Milwaukee, Wis.; Christ the King, Port Charlotte, Fla.; and Divine Savior, Sienna, Texas. It is providing unsubsidized support to Our Redeemer, Ladysmith, Wis., and Good Shepherd, Midland, Texas.
To learn more about these new missions and ministry enhancements, visit wels100in10.net.