Lord of Life's History (In a Nutshell)
- The American Lutheran Church (ALC) purchased land at 2480 W. Dublin Granville Road in the spring of 1966 for $48,000. This included a house that could serve as a parsonage and 4.25 acres.
- In those days the mission arm of the ALC made all the arrangements for a building, then turned the debt over to the mission congregation.
- Ground was broken in the fall of 1966. The ALC Mission Committee issued a call to Pastor R. Ervin Walther on October 28, 1966 to become the first pastor. He accepted the call. The Walthers, Erv, Penny, with sons Tim and Mark, moved into the parsonage December 28, 1966.
- Our first worship service was March 5, 1967 with 228 in attendance, most of whom were visiting dignitaries. First Sunday School was March 12, 1967 with 42 present. On Saturday, May 13, 1967 the first church council was elected. Frank Rundio is the only current member of Lord of Life who was a member of the first church council. The Lord of Life congregation was formed, a constitution was adopted and a Letter of Call extended to Pastor Walther. The congregation assumed a debt of $27,000 for the land and $77,242 for the new building.
- Sunday, May 14, 1967 served as both Organization Sunday and installation service for Pastor Walther. Charter members signed the organizational charter.
- In 1977 Pastor Walther and his family moved to Fremont, Ohio. Charles Mayer, campus pastor at Capital University, served as interim pastor.
- A letter of call was issued to J. Weston Jones in July 1978. Pastor Jones, Donna Marie and daughter Jacqueline moved into the parsonage in August, 1978 and Pastor Jones was installed as pastor on September 10, 1978.
- In November 1978 the ALC offered a debt reduction of $50,000, that along with the sale of the parsonage to Pastor and Mrs. Jones enabled Lord of Life to end official "mission recipient status."
- In May 1983 the first expansion the original building was completed and dedicated; cost was $138,000. It included a sloping roof, more office space, expansion of the Fellowship Hall with four class rooms, and the addition of a choir room.
In December of 1986, Pastor Jones accepted a call to Marion, Ohio. Lord of Life member Rev. Hans Scherner served as interim pastor.
- In November, 1987, Pastor Jim Wilson, Ph.D., became our pastor. He brought with him wife Ann and sons Jacob and Peter. A Long Range Facilities Plan was presented to the congregation in early 1988.
- In April 1988 the first Vision Statement was produced by Council while on retreat.
- Also in 1988, Lord of Life became a part of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the successor body to the ALC.
In 1989 the congregation accepted a Master Facility Plan and made a decision to build a Community Education Center(CEC). A capital fund campaign, "Upon This Rock", was launched to pay for it. Spiritual and financial goals were achieved in 1989 and in February 1990 all mortgages were retired for the first time!
- Construction of the CEC began in the summer of 1991 with dedication in January 1992. Cost was $442,000 with an assumed mortgage of $390,000.
- A subsequent capital campaign, "Renew Our Strength", was held from 1992 through 1996 and achieved spiritual and financial goals to free the ministry budget by making mortgage payments and reducing indebtedness.
- In 1997 Mission, Vision and Values adopted and widely disseminated. The "permission-giving model" of ministry began!
- Also in 1997 the Worship Space Task Force recommended to the congregation that we were now able to build a new worship space and renovate the existing space if the cost did not exceed $1,200,000. The congregation approved the hiring of architects and and a capital campaign: "Open the Doors!"
- In May 1998 at a special worship event the entire congregation completed a process of discovering our individual spiritual gifts.
- Ground was broken for a new worship space in March of 1999.
- Our first worship in the new space was Dec. 17, 2000. On Feb. 25, 2001 the worship space, which seats 300, was dedicated. A mortgage of $1.4 million was issued on July 1, 2001.
- In 2001 a new capital campaign was begun to reduce indebtedness on the new sanctuary: "Share the Joy."
- After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Lord of Life partnered with our ecumenical and interfaith neighbors to pray for healing and peace.
- Lord of Life became a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation in 2002, welcoming all people, including persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
- The congregation voted in late 2007 to purchase adjoining property for future expansion.
- After much discernment through 2006 and 2007, Lord of Life moved to three worship services on Sunday mornings in early 2008.
- With great joy, we welcomed Pastor Bethany Wallace to Lord of Life, first as a staff member in 2007 and in 2008 as a called pastor of the congregation. This marked the first time Lord of Life has had two called pastors simultaneously.
- A portable classroom unit, dubbed the "Annex," was installed in 2010 to accommodate growing Sunday morning discipleship classes for children and adults.
- Due to the increasing number of small children in the congregation, and more on the way, the size of the Nursery was doubled in 2010.
- The "dream Bigger" capital campaign (2010-2013) was initiated as an effort to retire outstanding debt from construction of the 2001 sanctuary and purchase of property in 2007, with the goal of allowing God to work in new and creative ways using the surplus funds that have thus far gone to pay mortgage and interest.
...through it all we have prayed for guidance and felt the Spirit of God among us.