Faith Lutheran Church proclaims God’s grace and forgiveness through faith in Christ and practices it through loving community, living faithfully, and serving our neighbor.
We are an energetic, fun-loving and faithful congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America yearning to hear God’s voice leading, guiding, encouraging, and transforming us as we share the love of Christ in this place.
Whatever has led you here,
whether it’s a lifetime of faith
or a lifetime of questions,
days of joy or days of pain,
moments of hope
or moments of frustration,
we welcome you.
Have you ever been curious as to how “Faith” was the name chosen for our church? It’s because it was started by a small group of individuals and they “…all realized that it took courage, perseverance and deep rooted faith to start a church with such a small group.” Out of that faith has come a lot of growth, exciting events and a lot of service to our community.
In the 1960s, Faith Lutheran was established and held its formal organization service at Town Hall on October 6, 1963. The current site was purchased, the first potluck dinner was enjoyed, the first congregational meeting was held and our Constitution and Bylaws were adopted. Pastors Segerhammar, Crounse and Moyer led our church. The groundbreaking ceremony was held and construction began. The cornerstone was laid, the tall cross outside was erected and the organ and chimes were purchased. Our membership grew from 58 to 187 by the end of 1969.
Pastor Moyer continued to lead Faith into the 70s followed by Pastor Miller. Faith sponsored public concerts by the Wittenberg University Choir and California Lutheran College Choir, a movie projector was gifted and Faith began having Family Movie Night. As membership grew, six new pews were installed, more hymnals were purchased, and a part time office secretary was hired. The 10thanniversary was celebrated, missionaries from overseas mission fields visited to speak, the Fisherman’s Club was established to visit non-members and invite them to church, new choir robes were purchased, carpet was installed in the sanctuary and hall. In May 1979 thanks were given to Fred and Ruth Ditsch for the gift of new risers for the choir loft.
Pastor Miller led the church into the 1980s followed by Pastor Reenstjerna. In 1981 the congregation approved plans for the Fellowship Hall and Faith members gave generously to make the project a reality. More pews were added, the Faith Women started the “prayer chain,” a new digital computer organ was purchased, and the number of circles grew to 9. The stained glass window project was completed, the green hymnals replaced the red, and the newsletter “Faith in Action” was born, but was quickly renamed the “Faith Forecaster.”
Enter the 1990s led by Pastors Reenstjerna, Poldberg and Stone, Faith’s first female pastor. Vacation Bible School began in the 1990s, as did the Endowment Funds Committee, started by a large donation from the estate of Emma G. Rau. Faith’s Service Commission was started to help members who needed transportation to the doctor, market, etc and to help those needing home repairs. Nursery care became available for children up to 5 years of age, the Narthex was constructed, we began having both Traditional and Contemporary services and we had a new website and email address. Videotape ministry was started; the services would be taped and taken to the homes of our homebound members. The Breakfast Club offered breakfast to students from Ridgemoor Elementary School.
The 2000s began with Pastor Stone receiving her doctorate to become the Rev. Dr. Judith E. Stone. A Christmas campaign was held to donate gift cards to local families. Faith’s Sunday Lunch Program began, providing low cost lunch and needed fellowship for seniors. Faith received a Certificate of Recognition for their continued support of Menifee Valley Community Cupboard. Pastor Cansino became Faith’s pastor, the Faith Library, later renamed Luther Library was established and all Sunday school kids were given their own Bible. The new ELCA cranberry hymnals replaced the green hymnals, Snip and Stitch shipped 32 quilts for Lutheran World Relief dispersal and The Soldiers Angels sent 47 lap blankets to Menlo Park for veterans.
On May 1, 2019 Faith was blessed with the arrival of our current Pastor, John Barton and his wonderful little family. We were able to share their joy in the birth of Danielle and take turns holding her, making funny faces at her and squeezing her…gently! Fast forward to 2020 and we’re right in the middle of the pandemic which has made church a little more challenging and a whole lot different.
However, our wonderful congregation has persevered! Thanks to the technology of our time, we have had a church service every Sunday, along with Bible studies and meetings….all virtually! It’s not the same as physically being with our friends and family, but we are blessed to have the ability to carry on and make the best of it, and we are blessed by the amazing people of this congregation who love, support and care for each other and our church! Thanks be to God!
Thank you to Betty Bouman, Lynn Bennett and others who put together this bio of our beloved congregation.