Fifty Years on a Sure Foundation ...
As the northeast side of Grand Rapids began to grow in the early 1960's, the Mission Board of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's Michigan District looked seriously into the possibility of placing new churches into the area. Although largely undeveloped, the area showed promise of growth, and they felt that a church was needed in the Plainfield-Five Mile area.
Rev. Henry C. Lubben was called to be a missionary-at-large for the area. With the Lord's blessing, a new northeast side congregation began worshiping at Northview High School on November 1, 1964.
A five acre plot of land was purchased by the District Mission Board at Five Mile and Northville Drive, and ground was broken for the new church on Sunday, September 12, 1965. The church seating 200, was dedicated on April 3, 1966.
Shortly after the dedication of the new building, Pastor Lubben accepted a call to the eastern United States. The congregation then called Rev. Gordon K. Goltz, who was installed on September 10, 1967 and served the congregation until 1980 when he accepted a call to Taylor, Michigan.
Rev. A.R. Garchow served at Messiah from June of 1981 to June of 1990 when he was called to his eternal home. During this time, the church was remodeled, a fellowship wing was added, and a preschool was begun.
The congregation then called Rev. Terry E. Hoese, who was installed as their fourth pastor on August 11, 1991. In April 2001 ground was broken for a new addition, which was dedicated to the glory of God on January 13, 2002. The addition included new offices, new classrooms, and a new sanctuary seating 280. Pastor Hoese retired on October 31, 2009.
Messiah's current Pastor, Rev. Tom Bartzsch, was installed on August 7, 2011.
The church staff includes: Pastor Bartzsch; Richard Krueger, Parish Assistant; and Vonda Smestad, Preschool Director. Their contact information can be found here.
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