History of Our Church
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church had its beginning in 1952 when the Michigan Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) appointed Rev. Robert Lignell to start a mission church in the northeast section of Grand Rapids, MI. At the time, Rev. Lignell was Assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. From 1952 until 1956 the congregation met at the Aberdeen School, but on April 29, 1956 the congregation held its first service in what is now the church Fellowship Hall. The current sanctuary was completed in 1965.
In 1965 Faith Lutheran transferred its affiliation from ULCA to the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Then, in 1988, we became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
As the years passed, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church grew both in numbers and enthusiasm. By 1980 Faith had a membership of 1505, which made it the largest church in the Michigan Synod. Property was added for parking and recreational use. Youth programs included Luther League, Confirmation classes, camp experiences. In 1957 Faith began to sponsor Scout Troop #367, and this relationship continues through the present day. The women of Faith became an active group hosting fund raising activities, two Women’s Circles (Martha and Sarah), and supporting the missions of this congregation through dedicated service and with monetary support. Along with this, church softball teams joined in various leagues over the years and in 1990 and 1991 were the “Champions” of their league.
Mission has long been a passion for the people of Faith Lutheran Church as members supported Food Pantry’s God’s Kitchen, the Cupboards of Faith (now The Glenn Moerdyk Cupboards of Faith), food drives, and the preparation of Holiday food Baskets for distribution to those in need in our community.
In 2002 Faith Lutheran was blessed to have a Praise Band join in the leadership of one of our services. We continue to have a Praise Band today and their musical gifts inspire us at our weekly services as well as at the concerts and special events that they participate in.
On 11/11/2012 Faith Lutheran Church celebrated 60 years of active worship, service, and fellowship. We continue to be a church dedicated to gathering around the Word and Sacrament. Today we seek to build on the traditions of our past as we explore exciting new ways to serve our community and share the word of God’s grace through Christ Jesus.
The time-line below lists changes in our leadership over the years.
Rev Robert Lignell (Sr. Pastor, 1952-1987; Pastor Emeritus, 1987-present)
Rev. George Stegmier (Assistant Pastor, 1964-1975).
Rev. James Parks (Associate Pastor, 1972-1981)
Rev. Raymond Peterson (Senior Pastor, 1988-1991)
Rev. Pauline Atkins Standley (Assistant Pastor, 1989-1995; Interim Pastor, 1991-1992)
Rev. Daniel B. Ward (Senior Pastor, 1992-1995).
Rev. Julie Schneider-Thomas (Supply Pastor, 9/1/1995-10/15/1995)
Rev. W. Thomas Zollman (Interim Pastor, 1995-1996)
Rev. Gordon Peterson (Pastor 1996-2000)
Rev. Stephen Kauffman (Supply Pastor, 2/6/2000-11/5/2000)
Rev. Dennis Smith (Pastor/Developer, 2000-2004)
Mary Climer (Intern, 2003; Partner in Ministry, 2004)
Ben Bruin (Intern, 2005)
Rev. Stephen Kauffman (Senior Pastor, 2005-2009)
Rev. W. Thomas Zollman (Intentional Interim Pastor, 2009-2010)
Rev. Kevin Sullivan (Pastor, 12/19/2010-Present)