how we got here: a history of Community

1979

  • August 1st – After completing his graduate studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, David P. Gohn receives a Divine Call as Missionary-at-Large from the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, with the purpose of planting a church in Flat Rock, Michigan, as sponsored by St. Paul Lutheran Church of Trenton, MI.
  • December 2nd – On the first Sunday in Advent, Community Lutheran Church holds its first worship service in the gymnasium of Flat Rock High School.

1980

  • February 6th – Community signs its charter and adopts a constitution, thereby becoming an officially recognized congregation of the LCMS.
  • March 23rd – The Rev. David P. Gohn is ordained at Community.
  • November 30th – Rev. Gohn is installed as Community’s first Pastor.
  • December 24th – With a mortgage from the Church Extension Fund of the Michigan District of the LCMS, Community purchases a 2.99 acre parcel of land located at 23984 Gibraltar Road, the site of the Old Kent Bank.

1981

  • April 5th – On Palm Sunday, following major renovations to the bank building, Community is ready to move into their new building. Worship begins in the school gym. As part of the service, all worship implements are loaded into vehicles and transported to the new location, where they are brought inside and service is concluded.
  • May – Community elects its first congregational officers.
  • June 7 – Community’s first confirmation class is confirmed.
  • August 10-14 – Community holds its first Vacation Bible School.

1983

  • Spring – The Wednesday evening worship service is added to help Sunday overcrowding.
  • July 15th – A new CEF mortgage is taken out for the purpose of building an education wing to include a kitchen, nursery, coat room, bathrooms and seven classrooms.

1984

  • May 18th – The 3,000 square foot addition is completed. Today, this wing houses Community’s Helping Hands food and clothing bank, which has grown significantly.
  • December 2nd – 400 people return to the high school to celebrate Community’s 5th anniversary.

1985

  • May 15th – Having completed her degree at Concordia, Ann Arbor, Virginia Hamlett accepts the Divine Call from Community to be the Director of Evangelism and Coordinator of Mercy and Youth, and begins serving in that role.
  • July 1st – Having accepted the Divine Call from Community to be the Director of Discipleship, Mr. Galen Grulke begins serving in that role.

1987

  • May 4th – Community purchases a second parcel of property behind the current parcel, totaling 2.658 acres and stretching to the woods.
  • December 27th – Ground is broken on an 11,000 square foot addition that includes a new nursery, kitchen and fellowship hall (the “Community Room”), as well as a sanctuary that will seat 450 people. The vast majority of the work will be done by Community’s members.

1989

  • June 4th – The dedication of the new addition takes place.

1992

  • September 20th – Community celebrates and honors Rev. Gohn for 25 years of ministry.

1993

  • January 21st – A third adjacent parcel of land, totaling 59.1 acres, is purchased.

1997

  • April 29th – Money is borrowed from CEF to build a new 18,000 square foot “Life Center,” and all debts are combined into a single mortgage. When ground is broken for the construction of the new building, to include a gymnasium and classrooms, Rev. Gohn will famously declare, “We started out in a gym, and now we’ve come full circle.”

1998

  • February 1st – Community submits an exclusive request for the assignment of pastoral candidate William A. Harmon from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.
  • April 21st – Mr. Harmon is placed at Community by Concordia Seminary according to the Divine Call from Community to be its Associate Pastor.
  • June 14th – The Rev. William A. Harmon is ordained at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD, with Rev. Gohn assisting.
  • September 27th – Rev. Harmon is installed at Community as Associate Pastor, becoming the 2nd Pastor in the history of Community.

1999

  • March 25th – Rev. Harmon accepts the call of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Garden City, NY to be their Associate Pastor.
  • April 28th – Community requests assignment of a Vicar from Concordia Theological Seminary.
  • November 18th – Property Parcels 1, 2 and 3 are combined and renamed Parcel A (38.6 acres) and Parcel B (26.1 acres).
  • December 1st – Kevin E. Wehner becomes Community’s first Vicar
  • December 3rd – The Rev. Michael S. Heusel accepts the Divine Call from Community to be its Assistant Pastor.

2000

  • January 13th – Parcel A is sold, leaving Community with Parcel B (26.1 acres of land).
  • February 8th – Vicar Wehner’s vicarage is terminated early by the Director of Vicarage at Concordia Theological Seminary.
  • February 20th – Rev. Heusel is installed as Assistant Pastor, becoming the 3rd Pastor in Community’s history.

2001

  • March 20th – Rev. Heusel resigns from his position as Assistant Pastor due to health reasons.

2003

  • July 9th – The Rev. Frank H. Martin accepts the Divine Call from Community to be its Associate Pastor.
  • September 28th – Rev. Martin is installed as Associate Pastor, becoming the 4th Pastor in Community’s history.

2004

  • July 1st – The Rev. Daniel E. Lochner accepts the Divine Call from Community to be its 2nd Associate Pastor.
  • September 12th – Rev. Lochner is installed as Associate Pastor, becoming the 5th Pastor in Community’s history and marking the first time Community has had three full-time pastors on staff.

2005

  • June 20th – Having accepted the Divine Call from Community issued on May 22nd, Kimberly Reimann is installed as Community’s Family Life and Preschool Director.

2006

  • In the midst of a financial crisis, the congregation of Community votes to eliminate both Associate Pastor positions as part of a Reduction in Force.
  • July 1st – Rev. Lochner resigns from his position as Associate Pastor.
  • July 31st – Rev. Martin’s position as Associate Pastor is eliminated.

2011

  • February 20th – Community submits an exclusive request for the assignment of pastoral candidate Erik R. Schmidt from Concordia Seminary.
  • May 4th – Mr. Schmidt is placed at Community by Concordia Seminary according to the Divine Call from Community to be its Associate Pastor. After completing his graduate studies at Concordia Seminary, Mr. Schmidt arrives at Community and begins serving on June 20th.
  • July 17th – The Rev. Erik R. Schmidt is ordained and installed as Associate Pastor of Community, becoming the 6th pastor in Community’s history.

2012

  • January 1st – Rev. Gohn’s title is changed to Founding Pastor and Rev. Schmidt’s title is changed to Administrative Pastor. Kimberly (Reimann) Bartok resigns from her call as Family Life Director, continuing as the Preschool Director.
  • July 15th – Community holds a special “Legacy Celebration” in honor of Rev. Gohn’s 45 years in ministry.
  • August 1st – The Rev. David P. Gohn, Founding Pastor of Community Lutheran Church, retires. Rev. Schmidt becomes just the 2nd sole pastor in Community’s 33 years of existence.

2013

  • June 10th – Kimberly (Reimann) Bartok resigns her call as Preschool Director.

2015

  • October 18th – Rev. Gohn is called home to be with the Lord.

2016

  • September 18th – As a tribute to his founding of this congregation and in honor of his long and distinguished career that included 33 years of service as its pastor, the Board of Directors officially renames the Life Center building the Rev. David P. Gohn Life Center. Additionally, Rev. Gohn’s portrait is dedicated and hung in the hallway of church.

2017

  • January 15th – Having accepted the Divine Call from Community issued on November 6th, 2016, Matthew J. Hire is installed as Community’s Director of Discipleship.
  • February 26th – Having accepted the Divine Call from Community issued on December 22nd, 2016, Steven Krueger is installed as Community’s Director of Worship Arts.