The Montrose Christ Lutheran Church is being chartered into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LC-MS) with a special service today at 2 p.m., taking place in the Hampton Inn meeting room at 1980 N. Townsend. The Rev. Roger Schlechte, president of the Rocky Mountain District of LC-MS, will be in attendance.
When Montrose Christ Lutheran began as a mission outreach in 2019, its first service drew 24 members. The founders soon saw room for growth.
“The founders recognized the potential for future growth in the area, and the need for getting out front of the needs required by such growth,” the church stated in a press release. “In addition, there are many present residents of the area that have yet to affiliate with existing area churches that may be attracted to a new congregation with a different personality, yet faithful to God’s revealed will in the Bible.”
The ministry held its opening worship service in the Hampton Inn meeting room on Feb. 3, 2019 and has continued to meet in the same location since then, growing to approximately 40 members. The worship is led by the Rev. Mel Mertens, who has been a Lutheran pastor for 11 years.
“Every church has a personality of their own that’s usually defined over time,” Mertens said of the ministry. “It’s a mix of the congregation that makes up that personality and what kind of worship services we do.”
The process of gaining recognition from the synod involved drawing up a constitution, getting it approved by the Rocky Mountain District of LC-MS, election of officers, and other paperwork and routine meetings that are part of a regular church function.
While chartering allows the church to be recognized by the synod, Mertens said that it will not affect the church services. Worship will continue to be held in the Hampton Inn meeting room, but he hopes to see development moving forward. Mertens said the church is “just getting started,” and that the mission outreach will hopefully expand in the future.
“[We want] to follow God’s will for us as a congregation and allow Him to lead us,” Mertens said. “If that means growing and changing and getting a new church, that will be His doing and timing.”
Montrose Christ Lutheran regularly meets at 9 a.m. every Sunday.
McKenzie Moore is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press and Delta County Independent.