New Starts and Enhancements: 2021

Every spring and fall, the Board for Home Missions (BHM) and the BHM Executive Committee prioritize requests for new home missions and ministry enhancements. In 2021, the Board for Home Missions approved financial support for home mission churches in nine new locations.

New home mission plants include:

  • Waco, Tex. – The Heart of Texas mission core group has been meeting regularly since March 2020. They are active in the community and participate in family-friendly activities around town while representing their new church plant. This mission is being supported by Trinity in nearby Temple, Tex.
  • Durham, N.C. – Gethsemane, the WELS congregation in Raleigh, N.C., is launching a second site in nearby Durham. The three universities in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are creating jobs and drawing a diverse group of young professionals and families to the area. The gospel is especially needed in this area, as studies show that 75% of people in the area do not know their Savior.
  • Parrish, Fla. This new mission plant in Parrish is being started and supported by Risen Savior in Lakewood Ranch, a previous home mission church that recently became self-supporting. Ascension Lutheran in Sarasota is also supporting this new mission site. 20,000-30,000 homes are expected to be built in Parrish in the next 10 years, and this new mission will be reaching out with the gospel to a community that is 85% unchurched.
  • Dickinson, N.D. – A committed core group has been meeting regularly for livestreamed worship and monthly gatherings since 2012, served by pastors from WELS churches in Mandan and Bismarck. Those two congregations as well as a church in Circle, Montana, will be supporting this new mission start named Amazing Grace. Dickinson, the hub of the area, has seen recent economic growth alongside the oil industry that is drawing new young families to the community.
  • Collinsville, Ill. (Approved in Fall) – Christ Our Savior in Collinsville has served as a preaching station of Martin Luther in St. Louis, MO, since 2002. The core group has maintained an average of 25-30 in worship attendance through the years. The core group is increasing their outreach efforts, including reaching students at a local college, workers on a nearby military base, and offering services for the deaf in their community. Neighboring WELS church Martin Luther has committed time, manpower, and financial assistance to help Christ Our Savior grow and become its own congregation. Home Missions funding will allow Christ Our Savior to call a full-time pastor to assist in this effort.

Home Missions is also providing financial support to four existing ministries:

  • Willoughby, Ohio – King of Kings in the suburbs of Cleveland is one of only two WELS churches in northeast Ohio, where 2.8 million people reside. They will be calling a new pastor to help reach out into the large community around their church that serves young professionals and families that have moved from downtown Cleveland to the suburbs.
  • Hutto, Tex. – Christ the Rock is located north of Austin and has been an unsubsidized mission since 2016. They have recently started worshiping in a new facility and are aggressively serving their community. Financial support will assist with ministry expenses.
  • Crossville, Tenn. (Approved in Fall): Crossville is a growing area of eastern Tennessee that is attracting many retirees thanks to the many retirement communities and activities in the area. A core group at Ascension Lutheran Church is committed to restarting their church and expanding gospel outreach. More and more visitors are coming to church, and their Bible information class had six people in it this past year. Home Missions funding will allow them to call a full-time pastor to help them kick-start this ministry.
  • Las Vegas, Nev.: Summerlin Lutheran Church was originally approved to received three years of financial support in Spring 2021 to restart their congregation, which already owned a large facility in a growing suburb of Las Vegas. Situations have changed, and a number of leaders within their core group have moved away. They were approved to receive additional Home Mission funding in Fall 2021 with the optimistic anticipation of great blessings from the Lord.

Home Missions also approved unsubsidized mission status for Redeemer in Fallbrook, Calif., St. John’s Hillside in Milwaukee, Wis., and Good Shepherd in Beloit, Wis. (Approved in Fall). 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.