Lutheran Mission Action Council ... A Brief History


It had its beginnings way back in 1928 when four local Lutheran churches formed the Lutheran inter-congregation committee in Evansville.  Their first efforts included joint services for special events and noon-day services in a local theatre.  That same year is when Our Redeemer was formed as a sister congregation to Trinity in Evansville.

 

It was in 1934 when they changed the name to “The Lutheran Mission Society of Greater Evansville.  That year they called Rev. Hafner to work with the black community of Evansville which resulted in the forming of Grace Lutheran Church.  Grace is no longer with the LCMS but went with ELCA at the time of the seminary split.

In 1936 work was begun among the deaf.  Monthly services were held for a group of 35 deaf mutes.  Today services are being signed for the deaf at Our Savior Lutheran Church.

In 1938 Concordia Lutheran Church was formed on what was at that time the North side of Evansville.

In 1939 after some 50 years with no growth, it was decided to help Trinity Lutheran Church of Henderson, Kentucky build a sanctuary.

During the Second World War mission work came to a standstill but it was in 1952 when church planting started again with the planting of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on the Northeast side of Evansville.

In 1955 Peace Lutheran Church was organized in Owensboro, Kentucky.

In 1959 two congregations were started; Messiah Lutheran Church on the west side and Our Savior Lutheran Church on the east side of Evansville.  Somewhat later Good Shepherd was disbanded and merged with Our Savior. About this same time a preaching station was started in Mt. Vernon, Indiana but shortly later was discontinued.

Following this there was a thirteen year lull and then in 1972 Shepherd of Paradise Lutheran Church was formed in Newburgh, Indiana.

After this the District Mission Board decided to take over all church planting in the District. Eventually they discovered they couldn’t do it efficiently and in 1991 turned it over to the circuits.  During this time, almost 20 years, no church planting took place in this part of the District.  The Mission Society did not disband however and when they requested the circuits form MAC’s (Mission Action Councils) we were ready to take over where we left off.  We did change our name again to coincide with Districts designation by using Lutheran Mission Action Council or LMAC.

Opportunity arose in 1992 when a resident of Jasper, IN came to us to request starting a church in Dubois County.  We accepted this challenge; started mission work; called a mission planter (The Rev. Charles
Fausel) and formed a congregation, Faith in Christ.  It prospered during the tenure of Rev. Fausel.  However, he accepted a call in November 1999 to Our Savior in Louisville, KY following the sudden death of his wife earlier in the year.

With no full time pastor the congregation struggled and ended up moving to Loogootee, IN but couldn’t make a go of it and finally closed with its’ final service on June 26, 2005.

Since Faith in Christ closed the LMAC searched for possible church locations or other mission efforts that could be undertaken. Opportunity presented itself when St. Paul Lutheran Church approached LMAC with the idea of finding someplace for their food pantry.  Searching began and it all came together in 2009 with the building of the Lutheran Community Outreach Center.  The groundbreaking was held on October 31, 2009 and is located at 16 East Michigan Street. This building incorporates the St. Paul Food Pantry; offices for the Evansville Lutheran Family Counseling, Inc.: the Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Indiana South and an Activities Center for all the LCMS churches in the area to use.  The food pantry area was finished first and started operating out of it on January 19. 2010. It was names the “James D. Greenwell Lutheran Community Food Pantry” after Jim who has been the heart and soul of the food pantry for many years.

The building, which was named the “Lutheran Community Outreach Center” (LCOC) was completed and dedicated on September 12, 2010. The main speaker for the event was Dr. Dave Ebeling, Executive for Congregational Services for the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Started in 2009 was LMAC’s website: www.lmac-evansville.org

Early in 2011 St. Paul Lutheran Church called a missionary, Rev. Michael Paul, to the Chinese.  They are holding services every Sunday in the Activities Center (Kahre Hall) of the LCOC building.

All of these accomplishments are a direct result of the planning and work of your Mission Action Council.  As you can see, it has a long history of church planting and other mission efforts.  It shows the dedication of those involved as well as those who support its efforts.  You can count on the LMAC to be there when they are needed.

                                                                       (Updated June, 2011)