Tag Archive for: Called to Proclaim Home Missions 2019

Intown Lutheran, Atlanta, Ga.

Rev. Lucas Bitter had the joy of performing Intown Lutheran’s first baptism for his daughter, Gabrielle Marie, in August (pictured, above). Bitter reports that soon after, he baptized a one-year-old whose mom, Melissa, was an atheist when she stopped at Intown’s booth at a fall festival in 2017. Out of curiosity, Melissa signed up for Intown’s free Bible Basics class.

“Through 12 lessons of instruction in a local coffee shop,” says Bitter, “the Holy Spirit changed Melissa’s heart and brought her to faith. She has now become one of our most active members, regularly attending church with her whole family and helping out in a variety of ways.”

“Bible Basics was a great way for me to get reacquainted with God,” notes Melissa. “It had been awhile for me, and Pastor Lucas was always open to answer questions and didn’t judge me. I now feel so much closer to God and welcomed back into the fold.”

“After starting out last fall with a core group of 21 souls,” says Bitter, “it looks like we will end 2018 with more than 40 souls in our church—and more scheduled to take Bible Basics in the new year. We are so thankful to be located in this densely populated, mostly unchurched mission field, where there are so many opportunities to connect people with their Savior.”

Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel, Madison, Wis.

WELS assists more than 550 campus ministries across the United States and Canada. The mission of WELS Campus Ministry is to help WELS college students grow in their faith so that they can reach out to other college students with the gospel. Campus Ministry also supports full- and part-time campus pastors, and provides assistance for WELS congregations as they reach out to college students in their area. Rev. Jon Bilitz, full-time campus pastor at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel, Madison, Wis., shares this story:

“A student arrived at the chapel, seeking answers about God’s Word. Through several contacts with the Word, the seed of gospel truth was planted and watered, and God made it grow. In late October, Manaporn ‘Mint’ Phaosricharoen was baptized—but not in our chapel. She requested the opportunity to be immersed, because that picture of washing away sins was important to her. So we braved the wind and chilly temperatures and entered the brisk waters of Lake Mendota for Mint to receive the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (pictured).

Redeemer, Edna/Victoria, Texas

Redeemer, Edna, Texas, began worshiping at its second site in Victoria in December 2017. The congregation flooded Victoria with fliers, billboards, and doorhangers with little response from the community.

In January, Magdalena and her high-school-aged granddaughter, Nikandra, (both pictured) attended worship at Redeemer, Victoria. Rev. Aaron Glaeske, pastor at Redeemer, followed up by taking a welcome gift to their home. As Glaeske sat at their table and visited, he addressed Magdalena’s spiritual concerns and questions. Then he asked Magdalena how she had found out about Redeemer. She pulled out Redeemer’s Christmas invitation that offered “Peace for the broken” from her Bible and said, “I saw this and knew I needed peace. So I came.”

Magdalena and Nikandra then studied with Glaeske nearly every week in their home and seldom missed worship or Sunday Bible study. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, Nikandra was baptized and both women were confirmed.

Nikandra used the opportunity of her baptism and confirmation to invite a friend and her mother to worship. Glaeske reports that these women have also started attending worship and are considering Redeemer’s Bible 101 course as well.


Did you know?

WELS Church Extension Fund supported Home Missions with a $1 million grant in September 2018, which led to funding for three new home missions being approved.