History

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ABOUT Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries

Congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have long histories of outreach and generosity toward the needs of the people of Philadelphia. That concern for the city led a group of people over fifteen years ago to begin talking about ways to deliberately reach the people of Philadelphia with the Gospel of Christ.

The Birth of Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries

In the 1990s, several Philadelphia-area lay leaders began to work toward missionary work in the city. By 1997, a committee of pastors and lay people had officially formed Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries. In 1998, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS) recognized Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries as a Registered Service Organization (RSO). 

Structure

Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries is guided by a Board of pastors and lay people who worship and serve in Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania. One pastor serves as Director while still serving as pastor of a local congregation. The Board, as the board of an RSO of the LC-MS, has the authority to call pastors to serve as missionaries to the city of Philadelphia.

Ongoing Ministry

Soon after its formal beginning, Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries began working with a congregation of Liberian immigrants, Christ Assembly Lutheran Church. Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries assisted the congregation as it purchased a church property in west Philadelphia, called a Liberian pastor and began services.

Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries also continues to work with Philadelphia True Light Lutheran Church, a Korean congregation.

New Opportunity

In September of 2012, Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries purchased a property in Northeast Philadelphia which included a church building and two houses along a full city block. The church was named Shepherd of the City and began monthly services and regular outreach to the community. In 2013, pastors began holding regular services at Shepherd of the City.

Current Projects

The current Executive Director, Rev Robert Kieselowsky, has worked with Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries since 2012. Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries called Rev Adam DeGroot as its missionary pastor to the city in 2014. Rev DeGroot and his family reside in one of the houses on Shepherd of the City’s campus so that he can maintain daily relationships with the people in the neighborhood.

In addition to the church plant at Shepherd of the City in Northeast Philadelphia, Rev Kieselowsky and Rev DeGroot have laid the foundation for a Sunday evening outreach service in Center City, beginning with a core group of university students and young professionals.