New Starts and Enhancements: 2024

In 2024, the Board for Home Missions (BHM) and the BHM Executive Committee has approved 12 new home mission starts and enhancements. 

In total, the Board for Home Missions has approved 15 new mission starts and 17 enhancements towards our synod’s goal of starting 100 missions and enhancing 75 ministries from 2023-2033! Learn more at

New home mission starts

  • Bend, Oregon: Bend was identified in 2020 as the second-fastest growing city in the U.S. A core group of eight families has been gathering twice a month for Bible study and planning as they plant a church in an area where 62 percent of people are not involved with any religious community.
  • Cedar Lake, Indiana: Members from Trinity and Zion in Crete, Ill., have formed a core group to plant a new mission in nearby Cedar Lake. This area of northwest Indiana is growing rapidly as Chicago commuters look for cheaper alternatives to living in Illinois.
  • Conway, Arkansas: Conway is a growing college town in the northwest of Little Rock with no WELS presence. A group of 19 WELS members has been gathering at a local hotel on Sundays for worship and Bible study with a part-time retired pastor and getting involved in the community as it prepares to launch a brand-new church.
  • Easley, South Carolina:  Since 2016 Abiding Peace in Simpsonville, S.C., has been exploring the option of starting a second site in the greater Greenville area that includes Easley and Powdersville. Abiding Peace is currently offering worship and Bible study and getting involved in community events from a leased “homebase” in Easley as it evaluates where a future, permanent site might be established with a new missionary at the helm.
  • Williston, North Dakota: he core group in Williston has been gathering for 15 years, now under the name Lamb of God Lutheran Church. It rents a full-time ministry center where members worship weekly online with the WELS church in Bismarck, N.D., and conduct outreach. Members look forward to reaching out with the gospel with a full-time missionary at the helm.


  • Calvary, Dallas, Texas: Calvary Lutheran Church in Dallas, Tex., will receive short-term support from Home Missions to call a second pastor who will be focused on outreach and connecting with unchurched early childhood and school families and the many other prospects Calvary has identified in the booming Lake Highlands area of Dallas.
  • Crossroads, Chicago, Illinois: Crossroads Christian Church in Chicago, Ill., is looking to restart its ministry on the north side of Chicago after COVID restrictions hurt its ministry and took away its worship location in a local elementary school. With Home Missions support, members look to position Crossroads as a permanent fixture in the neighborhood, enabling them to expand ministry to better serve the needs of the community.
  • Faith, Prior Lake, Minnesota: Faith Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, Minn., has developed a relationship with a standalone early childhood center that bought a portion of its vacant land and built a new facility across the parking lot from the church. The center has agreed to let Faith develop the Bible curriculum for use at the center, and Home Missions funding will allow a part-time staff minister to lead Bible lessons, connect with parents, and coordinate Faith’s members to volunteer at the center on a regular basis.
  • Good Shepherd, Plymouth, Wisconsin: Plymouth is a stable town in northern Wisconsin with 9,000 residents. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will receive short-term support to kickstart outreach efforts once again to take advantage of the gospel outreach opportunities the Lord is providing.
  • Northdale, Tampa, Florida: Northdale Lutheran Church is in a growing area of north Tampa, which has seen a large influx of Spanish-speakers move into the community. Northdale’s academy reflects this demographic shift, as 25 percent of its student body comes from a Spanish-speaking family. Short-term Home Missions support will allow Northdale to call a Spanish-speaking pastors to take advantage of these outreach opportunities.
  • St. Marcus, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: St. Marcus Lutheran Church is looking for support to fund a “campus shepherd” at its third school campus, which serves 300 children, most of whom are unchurched. This person would be connecting with the parents of school children, overseeing the spiritual instruction of the kids on that campus, organizing baptism efforts, leading chapels, and supporting staff. This position will also be responsible for coordinating evangelism efforts across the three campuses.
  • St. Paul, Calgary, AB, Canada: St. Paul Lutheran Church in Calgary, AB, Canada, is located in one of the most diverse areas in Canada. The immediate neighborhood around St. Paul is 50 percent immigrants and includes people from India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Africa, and the Middle East. Home Missions support will allow St. Paul to hire two part-time workers to assist the pastor in discipleship, community outreach, service/volunteer coordination, and other cross-cultural mission efforts.