To the northwest of one of the fastest growing cities in the USA – Austin, Texas – lie the communities of Cedar Park and Leander, Texas. Based on growth projections, the 75,000 people living in these communities in 2010 will likely double to 150,000 by 2020. This is phenomenal growth!
Planting a church in the midst of a fast-growing region like the Leander/Cedar Park area near Austin, Texas, is a real challenge. Yet it is in the middle of such growth that the best opportunities to reach families and individuals for Christ exist. That is why we give thanks to our Lord for enabling us to locate a church in this prime location.
What a blessing to actually have bought property as we began. Buying property early in the life of a mission affords two things. One, it provides some protection from growing costs of land in the target area. Second, it affirms a permanent presence in the community and eventually, as the mission builds a church, increases its community profile significantly.
The location of the property upon which Hope Lutheran Church has been built is especially a blessing. Growth in the area has exceeded expectations. Traffic that travels near or past the property is often heavy and decidedly family-oriented with a regional sports park located just on the other side of the road from the church.
While planning and constructing a church building in such a fast-growing area proved challenging and costly, despite all the barriers and purely by God’s grace, it was done! What a joy it was for this mission church to celebrate God’s grace that enabled the Board for Home Outreach, our missionaries (Rev. Bradley Kerkow and Rev. Daniel Ruiz), and the members of Hope to complete this task. After many months of planning and facing multiple challenges to the project, all the work was completed.
The joy of having been blessed so far was very apparent as the people gathered to dedicate this beautiful church on April 22, 2018, to the glory of God. Over 170 souls gathered to enter the new church building to dedicate this facility and its altar, baptismal font, and pulpit, where the blessed means of grace are distributed.
Thanks to generous support from you, members of our synod, our Anniversary Offering donors, and gifts from various other sources, Hope already has a great online presence as they enter their new facility. Services will be streamed live weekly. The beautiful sanctuary has great acoustical qualities designed into the structure that enables worshipers and online listeners to hear and enjoy the musical heritage of the Lutheran Church.
Potential members are regularly present. A recent canvass of one area near the church produced a list of prospects and helped alert the community to the presence of a new church.
We should recognize that they will continue to need our prayerful support. At the same time, our brethren at Hope Lutheran have expressed their heartfelt thankfulness for the support they have received from you, the members of the ELS. To show this, the dedication offering was designated, in thanksgiving, to the Anniversary Offering. In addition, and as our Lord enables them, they are looking forward to supporting the start of new missions in other communities as they join with their fellow members in the ELS in supporting missions.
Rev. Brad Kerkow
Hope Lutheran Church