Church History

Church History

1966 - American Lutheran Church purchased 6 acres of land in anticipation of beginning a mission church at the corner of Dutch and Finzel.

Nov. 9, 1972 - meeting at Whitehouse Primary about the possibility of a new congregation. Over 70 people attended.

Mar. 1973- Pastor Ray Gottschling is called to be the mission pastor of the new church. A church office is opened in downtown Whitehouse in the law building of Robert Talbert, in a small building next to the Whitehouse Inn.

Sep. 9, 1973 - First worship service in the cafeteria of Anthony Wayne High School. Attendance was 92.

Nov. 1973 - Name of the new church, Community of Christ, is chosen over Living Word and Loving Shepherd.

Mar. 17, 1974 - Potluck dinner at Hope United Methodist followed by a meeting in which the constitution and council are set up.

May 1974 - Community of Christ Lutheran Church officially accepted into the ALC district.

Jun. 2, 1974 - First catechism class confirmed.

1975 - Meeting at Zion United Methodist Church, where it was decided to build a church building. The congregation wanted it to be a multipurpose facility to serve the community as well as the congregation. To raise money for the building fund, peppers were raised on the 6 acres. The congregation prepared 50 rows for planting, and did all the work of weeding and harvesting. A purchase contract was secured from Vlasic, and all of the money went towards financing the new church building.   

1976 - Budgeting and planning of the new church continues. 

1977 - Anthony Wayne Schools decide to no longer heat the buildings on weekends due to a natual gas shortage and rising costs. The congregation decided to move services to Hope United Methodist while construction on the new church building began.

Jun. 12, 1977 - New church building dedicated, with 64 member families on the roster. Raised soybeans on the remaining land to help fund the new church building. Many community activities are held during the week in the new facility, including AA, Al-Anon, Alzheimer's Support group, 4-H, scouts, Lucas County voting, and Kindergarten screenings. Ministry also grew with sponsoring refugees, Senior Citizen weekly meetings, and a local prison ministry.

1984 - Pine trees planted around the perimeter of the property.

Sept. 10, 1989 - Dedication of new classroom space.

1993 - Community of Christ's new mission statement is "Making Jesus Known".

1995 - Saturday 5:00 PM service added to provide more options for worshipping on the weekend. Lent Soup Suppers began, with a potluck dinner before the Wednesday Lenten service.

1996 - Three octaves of handbells purchased and a bell choir started.

1998 - Pastor Ray Gottschling resigned to become Assistant to the Bishop of the Northwest Ohio Synod. The 25th anniversary of the church was celebrated by raising $25,000 which was given to Salem Lutheran Church in downtown Toledo to develop their mission to the inner city.

1999 - Pastor Rich Ferne called to be senior pastor. Baptized membership was 402 at the end of the year.

2003 - Building Committee formed to offer options for future growth.

2004 - Congregation hires a Liturgical Design consultant to help with our worship expansion program.

2005 - Congregation hires architect to work on plans for expansion. Plans include a dedicated worship space/sanctuary, a large gathering area, a new kitchen, new and expanded office space, and a new nursery. Ministries include helping to support Salem Lutheran Church in downtown Toledo, the Whitehouse Food Pantry, Lutheran World Relief school kits, and purchasing animals and water purification systems for impoverished families in developing countries.

2006 - Vote taken to move ahead with building expansion. Baptized membership at 634. 

May 2007 - Groundbreaking on the new sanctuary and expanded areas.

August 2007 - First community Ice Cream Social hosted by Community of Christ.

May 2008 - Dedication of the new sanctuary and expanded areas.

2008 - Refurbished Reuter organ installed in the sanctuary. Internationally known organist, composer, and musician David Cherwein played at the organ dedication Hymn Festival in November. Read more about the Reuter Organ.

2009 - Pastor Ron Heinz hired by congregation to be a part-time minister.

August 2010 - Pastor Rich Ferne retired. A call process was started to find a new Senior Pastor.

September 2010 - Pastor Al Baumann called to be the Interim pastor at Community of Christ.

January 7/8, 2012 - Pastor Matt Lash installed by Bishop Marcus Lohrmann as the new Senior Pastor at Community of Christ.

September 2012 - Pastor Ron Heinz retired.

November 2013 - New digital sign installed to help us fulfill our mission of "Making Jesus Known" to the community. Sign dedication on November 17 at 8:00 and 10:00 AM services.

May 3-4 2014 - Celebration of 40 years of "Making Jesus Known". A celebration dinner and program were held on May 3. Previous pastors Ray Gottschling and Rich Ferne spoke about their ministry at Community of Christ. Charter members of the congregation also spoke about their memories of the beginnings of the congregation. On Sunday, Bishop Marcus Lohrmann, along with Pastors Gottschling, Ferne, and current Pastor Lash, led worship. Special music was provided by an "alumnae" adult choir.
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