Lutheran Church of Our Saviour

The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour’s first formal congregational meeting was held on February 5, 1978 under the leadership of Reverend Robert Lineberger. For five years the church met in the exercise room of the local YMCA. The group had a portable and collapsible altar and lectern and foldable chairs that were un-stacked and set into rows. All of the hymnals, banners, and other materials were moved from the pastor’s van into the exercise room and then dismantled after the service. The church held its first Holy Communion Service on June 4, 1978, and September 10, 1978 was the church’s Charter Sunday. By November 1, the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour’s request for the formal organization of the congregation had been submitted to the Virginia Synod, and the church was recognized by the Virginia Synod on February 4, 1979. In January of 1983, the church service was moved from the exercise room of the YMCA to the nearby Tomahawk Baptist Church. By 1986, the first Building Committee was formed and worked with the Virginia Synod architect on plans for a new church. A groundbreaking service was held on May 10, 1987 for a new church, and in January, 1988 the congregation and service moved into their new building. By May, 1991 there was an expansion of the church that doubled the size of the Sanctuary and provided room for a Sunday school wing. A major feature of the church interior is its stained glass window depicting the bread and the cup (of wine) from the last supper, a cross upon a shield, and the sun (and sunbeams) to represent the light and glory of God. The congregation has grown since its days of meeting at the YMCA and Tomahawk Baptist Church when it consisted of 63 adults and 31 children. Today the church has 458 members, with an average of 135 in attendance at Sunday services. The church sends a small gift bag to every visitor containing a loaf of bread along with letter welcoming the visitor to the church, inviting them back, and containing a quote from John 6:35 in the Bible to accompany the loaf of Bread: “Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

There are early and late morning worship services every Sunday and a Sunday school. The services include a weekly communion, several traditional hymns, written prayers, call and response prayers, scripture readings, the sermon, followed by more hymns and prayers. The services are very traditional, incorporating musical instruments such as the piano and organ, hand-bells, and on Pentecost Sundays and for other special services, percussion instruments. The Lutheran Church of Our Savior holds special services for Christmas as well as Easter. In addition, holding true to Lutheran tradition and history, the church holds a slightly more festive service with many historical references on October 31, the anniversary of Reformation Day, which commemorates the day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

The church has very active community programs through the Outreach Team. This team creates food baskets for twelve families during the holiday season, sponsors a food pantry once each month at Richmond Friends of the Homeless, provides food and shelter for the homeless through Congregations About Richmond Involved In Assuring Shelter (CARITAS), and contributes to Habitat for Humanity. There are monthly events for the benefit of World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Relief. The team contributes to the Equal Exchange Program by selling coffees, teas, chocolates and other items produced by small farmers in Africa, South America, and Central America. The Outreach Team offers monthly financial support to the Bible-A-Month Club to support Bible distribution around the world and to the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Alliance for Social Ministry. One Sunday each month is designated World Hunger Sunday, and the congregation is encouraged to donate funds to the Outreach Team that are used to support HIV/AIDS education and prevention, literacy training, construction of new schools and improvements of medical centers.

Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
9601 Hull Street Road
Richmond, VA 23236

Lutheran Church of Our Savior pastor
Lutheran Church of Our Savior website

Profile prepared by Robert Daniel Hudson
Profile prepared by Tori McKnelly
September, 2009