Three home mission congregations in Texas launched their first worship services on Sept. 11.
In September 2020, the Board for Home Missions authorized funding to Our Savior, San Antonio, Texas, to begin a second site ministry. In June 2021, Micah Koelpin was installed as the full-time pastor. During the past year, Koelpin has worked with the core group of members who are helping lead Our Savior, West San Antonio.
“The grand opening service went very well,” reports Koelpin. “We invited our central campus and so we had over 100 people in worship—we needed to set up more chairs than we planned. We had many first-time guests join us.”
At the same September 2020 meeting, the Board for Home Missions also authorized funding for a WELS mission in Amarillo, Texas, an area 120 miles away from the nearest WELS church. In May 2021, Hans Thomford was assigned to serve as the full-time pastor in Amarillo. The core group chose the name Amazing Grace. “Please continue to pray for Amazing Grace, Amarillo,” says Thomford, “as we reach and teach people about the gospel. There are so many things that stare us down each day—worry, stress, jobs, and finding meaning—yet there is one God and one Savior who lets us have and hold onto peace.”
Christ Our Refuge, Hewitt (Waco), Texas, was authorized as a WELS home mission in April 2021, and Andy Westra was assigned to serve as its home missionary that May. When Westra arrived, a core group of 12 adults helped him plan and prepare to launch worship services.
Westra reports that a young family that he’d never met before attended the launch service. “One of the first things the mom said to me was that she had never been baptized and wanted to be,” says Westra. “Plus they want to have their two girls baptized as well. It was an awesome way that God said, ‘Look, I’m going to bless the work you are doing here.’ ”
Author: Forward in Christ
Volume: 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022