You are currently viewing WELS Home Missions approves new missions

WELS Home Missions approves new missions

people taking a selfie home missions
A core group of eight families has been meeting in Bend, Ore., an area that is expected to grow by more than 16,000 people by 2032. In addition to regular Bible studies and planning meetings, the core group has done door-to-door canvassing and food drive canvassing with support from short-term volunteer teams and its district mission board.

This spring, WELS Board for Home Missions approved five new mission starts for the synodwide 100 Missions in 10 Years initiative.

“As we considered new ministry requests this year, we worked hard to find balance between trusting God to do immeasurably more than we can imagine and not putting God to the test as we aim to wisely manage the dollars God’s people have given to Home Missions,” says Mark Gabb, Home Missions administrator. “Our goal remains: To aggressively go after the lost with the gospel.”

The five new mission starts include:

  • Bend, Ore.: 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 it plants a church in an area where 62 percent of people are not involved with any religious community.
  • Cedar Lake, Ind.: 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, Ark.: Conway is a growing college town northwest of Little Rock with no WELS presence. A group of 19 WELS members has been gathering at a local hotel for worship and Bible study with a part-time retired pastor and getting involved in the community as it prepares to launch a new church.
  • Easley, S.C.: Since 2016, Abiding Peace, 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 home base in Easley as it evaluates where a future, permanent site might be established with a new missionary.
  • Williston, N.D.: The 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 conduct outreach and worship online with the WELS church in Bismarck, N.D. Members look forward to reaching out with the gospel with a full-time missionary at the helm.

The board may approve more new mission starts at its fall meeting, all toward the goal of planting 100 new home missions and enhancing 75 existing ministries by 2033.

Learn more at

Enhancing ministry

man with small children singing
Faith, Prior Lake, Minn., has developed a relationship with an early childhood center that bought a portion of Faith’s land and built a facility across the parking lot from the church. The center has agreed to let Faith develop the Bible curriculum for use at the center. 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.

Besides the five new mission starts, the Board for Home Missions also approved financially supporting seven ministry enhancements.

Short-term additional funding was granted to Calvary, Dallas, Texas; Crossroads, Chicago, Ill. (restart); Faith, Prior Lake, Minn.; Good Shepherd, Plymouth, Wis.; Northdale, Tampa, Fla.; St. Marcus, Milwaukee, Wis.; and St. Paul, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

This funding can help existing congregations expand outreach in their communities, often to reach different cultures or take advantage of new opportunities. For example, Northdale, Tampa, Fla., plans to call a Spanish-speaking pastor to help reach the large influx of Spanish-speakers moving into the community, while Calvary, Dallas, Texas, needs additional help to connect with unchurched early childhood and school families.

Author: FIC
Volume 111, Number 06
Issue: June 2024

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Facebook comments