HistoryThe Story of God's Grace at Christ Lutheran Church, Perry/Kathleen
In 2005, a group of members from Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Warner Robins, and Mount Calvary's Pastor, David Brighton, began meetings to discuss the possibility of establishing a daughter congregation in the Perry/Kathleen area.
These discussions became a reality in early 2006 when the first Sunday Worship Service of Christ Lutheran Church was held in the chapel of the Watson-Hunt Funeral Home in Perry. Christ Lutheran's first office was located at 1110 Washington Street in Perry.
Mt. Calvary's Vicar, Steve Schave, served as the Mission Developer for Christ Lutheran, and was called as the congregation's first pastor on June 4, 2006. Soon thereafter, Christ Lutheran Church chartered as a new mission outreach of Mt. Calvary and the Florida-Georgia District of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod on June 18, 2006. Mrs. Kim Schave erved as Christ Lutheran's first deaconess from 2006-2008.
In the fall of 2006, Christ Lutheran Church moved their Worship services to Kathleen, at Matt Arthur Elementary School's gymnasium. Their Advent & Lenten services along with fellowship gatherings were held at the Ochlahatchee Fellowship Hall.
Since July 2007, Christ Lutheran Church has leased facilities for worship, fellowship, and office space at 733 Carroll St. in Perry. In Aug. 2008, Pastor Schave accepted a call to Ohio. Rev. Dr. David Bernthal served as Christ Lutheran's Interim Pastor from October 2008 to June 2009. In March of 2009, Christ Lutheran Church extended a call to Pastor John Lehenbauer to serve as their Pastor.
Pastor Lehenbauer accepted Christ Lutheran's call, and began serving the congregation in July of 2009, with the Service of Installation taking place on Sunday, July 26.
In late 2009, the congregation purchased 9 acres of land several miles north of Perry, on Langston Road, just east of Lake Joy Road. A Building Committee is meeting regularly to facilitate the construction of the congregation's first permanent church facility.
Established as a mission church for the Perry/Kathleen area, Christ Lutheran has worked with Perry Volunteer Outreach Center to provide a free weekly meal to the community. Thee Lord's Table is open to all, and provides a delicious home-cooked meal each Friday at 12 Noon. An encouraging devotion from God's Word is also part of each Thee Lord's Table gatherings.
Christ Lutheran has been blessed with the prayers and support of Mt. Calvary Lutheran in Warner Robins, the Florida-Georgia District, the East Central Circuit of the LCMS, as well as the generosity and enthusiasm of its members and many in the Perry / Kathleen area.
Christ Lutheran's founding and growth is living testimony of God's promise in Isaiah 55:11 "My Word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."