"Church Histories" are not all that exciting in the eyes of most people. However, if you really want to know a bit about the DNA of Hope Lutheran Church, then you need to know a bit about how the Spirit breathed this congregation into existence. The "Cliff's Notes" are as follows:
Way back in the 1970's (yep...waaaay back), there was a congregation called Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and its pastor was a man named Vic Mesenbring. The congregation was a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church (that may not mean much to all of you...but for some, that may be significant.) The three issues facing the church of the time were: the ordination of women, literal interpretation of scripture (was Jonah really swallowed by a big fish?), and allowing all people to take Communion.
The Missouri Synod Lutheran Church (LCMS) had opinions on these issues and Pastor Vic could no longer support the church's position. In support of the ordination of women, varying interpretations of scripture, and allowing everyone and anyone to take Communion, the congregation decided to take a vote to leave the LCMS. The congregation needed 2/3 vote to pass. 62% voted to leave.
The vote failed...
Pastor Vic could not serve in a church that took this stance, so he left. Many families followed him. Together they formed Hope Lutheran Church in January, 1977. At their first worship service there were 166 people in attendance!!
The DNA? Well...rebels? People who take risks? People who follow the lead of the Spirit?
All of the above!
And thus ...
The year was 1977, 90 families followed the Spirit and left a church home to build a new one. The work began...
Worship happened in locations that were generously made available to this new community called Hope. Bible Studies met, Vacation Bible School took place, and business meetings ensued...many thanks are given to the varying churches and organizations that supported this new community.
Soon a property of 12 acres with a house on it was purchased. From there, innovative planning (and a LOT of prayer) was needed to turn the property into a usable facility for a church. Within a few years a sanctuary was built and worship and ministry grew.
Over the years more expansion was needed, more creative planning took place and ministry continued to be innovative, relevant and effective for the times.