I’m driving from my home in Texas to New Orleans today. Specifically, I am going to spend some time at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville, Louisiana.

I stopped in Bridge City to visit with Paul Zoch, the synodically authorized minister who has been serving St. Marks for over a decade. After the hurricane St. Mark’s was under 4 feet of water. Worship attendance plummeted as people lost their homes and scrambled to put their lives back together. Recently they’ve had a little bit of growth.

Meanwhile, Trinity Lutheran Church in Orange, Texas has been struggling. They asked Paul to serve them as well. After some time of discernment, they decided to merge with St. Marks.

Trinity put their property up for sale, and found a buyer: coincidentally, Trinity Baptist Church. The papers have been signed, and the property now belongs to Trinity Baptist. These past few weeks Trinity Lutheran has been moving out. As I walk around the building at St. Mark’s, the Trinity furniture looks pretty good. I especially like the Trinity organ, a Visser-Rowland, that has now been installed by Mr. Visser in St. Mark’s worship space.

They had their first combined worship service on Ash Wednesday 2/13/13 and their first Sunday yesterday, 2/17/13. Paul is now applying for candidacy. Please keep him, and them in your prayers.