Other places in the ELCA have tried this, but it is the first time in our synod that two congregations have joined forces to become one church with two campuses. Today, Sunday, March 13, 2022, Memorial Drive Lutheran Church at 12211 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas, became Christ the King, West Campus. This means CTK now has two campuses.

Today, the faithful ministry of Memorial Drive Lutheran Church was lovingly placed into the hands of Christ the King Lutheran Church. The sanctuary was full and the singing raised the roof. Charter members were present for the handoff. The two councils came to the font to rededicate the church. A Steering and Integration Committee was installed, consisting of people from both campuses.

Pregame huddle.
Photo courtesy of Rachel McWhirter.

Pastor Duane Larson preached. CLICK HERE for the sermon.

Pastor Duane Larson
Photo courtesy of Pastor David Roschke.
Deacon Beth Hartfiel helping me out, with acolyte Devin in the background.
Photo courtesy of Pastor David Roschke.

View the rededication liturgy bulletin here.

The congregational records were transferred and Memorial Drive Lutheran Church was declared closed. The witness of MDLC members in their community will continue as members of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Photo courtesy of Rachel McWhirter.

Many will remember the Cenacle where our candidacy and other retreats were held, and many received spiritual direction. After Hurricane Harvey flooded the Cenacle, the Cenacle Sisters moved to this location. When all the Cenacle houses were closed and all remaining sisters moved to Chicago, the work continued in the form of the Emmaus Spirituality Center. Even the stations of light from the Cenacle are on the trees in the back lot:

Also housed at Christ the King’s West Campus now are UMOJA Lutheran Swahili Mission, Aihua Chinese Class, and the Memorial Drive Community Garden.

I am thankful for the leadership of MDLC Interim Pastor Beth Marie Halvorsen, who has gently shepherded the congregation to this place, Former CTK Pastor Duane Larson who helped CTK discern this new outreach, and CTK Interim Pastor Amandus Derr who has picked up the baton and continued the work to this place.

I am excited about the new energy and vision that this collaboration will bring in the Bunker Hill/Memorial area.