Divine Savior Lutheran Church celebrates 30 years

The Rev. Bruce Drees (right), first pastor of Divine Savior, poses for a photo with current pastor Rev. Randall Wehmeyer following the Jan. 19 Anniversary Service.

“We are saved by grace alone” was the cry of the Lutheran Reformers in the 16th Century. And by God’s grace alone, Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Devine is celebrating 30 years of God’s blessings.
The first of four 30th Anniversary Services – in which all are invited and welcome – was held on January 19 when the first pastor of Divine Savior, the Rev. Bruce Drees, served as the Guest Proclaimer. When Drees first arrived in Devine in the summer of 1989 (he was called to serve the Lutheran congregation in Pearsall), he found the 20-year-old building of the former Grace Lutheran Church. After walking around the locked-up facility, which had been closed and neglected, he put his hands on the structure and said out loud, “Can these bones live?” which hearkens back to Ezekiel 37. Sure enough, 30 years later, the congregation is indeed living – thriving – in Christ, by grace alone.
In September of 1989, a telephone campaign was launched in which 8,814 calls were made during a four-week period. Calls were made to individuals in Devine, Natalia, Lytle, La Coste, Somerset, Bigfoot, Moore, Castroville, and Hondo, all within a 40-mile radius of Devine. A total of 12 Lutherans made contacts with 4,415 households, establishing a mailing list of 1,200. The first worship service was held on December 3, 1990 as a member congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), there were 62 Baptized Members and 45 Communicant Members. Since then, the congregation has grown in numbers, facilities, and most importantly, in Christ.
The Rev. David Londenberg, the congregation’s second pastor and former missionary to Sierra Leone, will serve as the Guest Proclaimer on Sunday, March 15. On July 12, the congregation’s fourth pastor, the Rev. Odis Doyal, will serve as the Guest Proclaimer. Potluck meals will be held after each of these services. Finally, at a 4:00 pm Vespers Service on Sunday, October 4, the Rev. Michael Newman, President of the Texas District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, will serve as the Guest Proclaimer. Following this service with special music, there will be historical documents and photos on display, along with a catered meal.
The Rev. Randall Wehmeyer, Divine Savior’s current pastor, shared his thoughts about the congregation’s anniversary.
“The words of the Psalmist (127:1) certainly come to mind at a time like this: ‘Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.’ As the only LCMS congregation in Medina County, the Lord Jesus Christ has been building this house of God by gathering His people for 30 years around the Holy Scriptures and the Blessed Sacraments to receive the forgiveness of sins. What a blessing of the Lord!”
The congregation is located at 405 Ingram Rd. (across from the Devine Golf Course) in Devine. All are welcome to the Divine Service on Sundays at 10:30 am and Sunday School and Bible Class at 9:00 am. Call the Church Office at 830-663-3735 for more information.