What Lutherans Believe
Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation -- the earth and the seas and all of the world’s inhabitants.
We believe that God's Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God's Spirit is active in the world.
We are part of God’s unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere. When we study the Bible or hear God’s word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.
The convictions shared by Christians from many different traditions are expressed in statements of belief called creeds.
These ecumenical creeds that Lutherans affirm and use in worship confess the faith of the church through the ages and around the world.
The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is part of our founding constitution. The ELCA accepts the following creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church:
Pastor Edwin Fidler came to Lebanon as a mission developer for a Lutheran church here. After knocking on doors and making phone calls, our official beginning as a congregation was April 17, 1966, when the service of organization was held at Dunlavy School, with ninety persons (64 adults and 26 children) joining as charter members.
The early congregation was challenged by meeting in the multi-purpose room at Dunlavy School, having to put up and take down folding chairs each Sunday, arranging a portable altar, lectern, and altar rails and then storing them each week.
This early church meeting at the school had a junior and adult choir with robes, Sunday classes for all ages and hymnals. Until the first structure was built, which is now our fellowship hall, the congregation met in the parish house, which was the original farm house on the 6.25 acre piece of ground purchased for the new church site. This farmhouse was built in 1812 and had a fireplace in every room and a winding narrow staircase from the kitchen to the second floor. It had served as a stagecoach stop for the Columbus to Cincinnati route, and the old barn on the property had housed the teams of horses.
The congregation enjoyed many happy times in that old house and barn. The house was used for worship and Sunday school. One room was the “sanctuary,” but overflow had to sit in an adjoining room and could only hear Pastor Fidler, not see him! The barn was used for many Halloween parties, barn dances, and a live “Nativity scene” at Christmas. Our youth enjoyed parties and activities and overnight stays in the parish house.
The sanctuary was constructed and then dedicated on April 14, 1968, the second anniversary of the church’s birth. Pastor Fidler left to develop another area in August 1968.
Pastor William Makley came to RLC as pastor in December 1968. Pastor Makley’s ministry came at a time of “growing pains” for RLC as new families joined only to have others leave due to job transfers, marriage and sometimes death. Growth was slow, but Pastor Makley’s strong faith that God would provide and lead us sustained the congregation in their faith as well. During this time a strong youth group was established and such outreach as prison ministry to Lebanon Correctional Institute was started and carried out for years. We also had a youth ministry to Mary Haven, a detention center for boys east of town, many Bible study groups, and participation of youth and adults in overnights at Camp Firefly near Ft. Ancient. We had an active women’s group and participated in the Honey Festival parades and other community activities.
The barn was torn down in 1972 in the spring and had stood near where we now plan to put up the playground equipment. Frames that were made from that barn siding still hang in our church.The old parish house was torn down in 1977 to make room for our educational wing that was completed in January 1977.
Plans and construction of the educational wing fell mostly on the lay leaders of the congregation as Pastor Makley retired in August 1976. Jim Penwell, Randy’s father, built a new altar and cross for the church. The education wing was dedicated February 6, 1977.
Pastor James Miller became the new pastor at RLC in February 1977. Where Pastor Fidler brought his vibrant enthusiasm and vision and Pastor Makley developed a very strong spiritual movement and outreach to community, so did Pastor Miller bring his gift of strong leadership, love and talent for music and worship. Under his leadership, RLC began the CROP walk each year for world hunger with huge participation and leadership from our congregation. We continued many outreach programs with our youth’s “Clowns For Christ” group. We hosted a Lutheran Youth Circus from Maryland on our front lawn, and we worked in the Lebanon Food Pantry. We enjoyed events such as the church progressive dinners, and our youth attended national conferences and days at Wittenberg University. New chairs for the worship area were purchased. The parsonage Pastors Fidler and Makley had called home was sold, and Pastor Miller purchased his own home in 1984.
The church also enjoyed very successful Vacation Bible Schools in the summers having them in the evening. Many were with tents set up on our lawn for numerous crafts and activities.
RLC moved off mission support from the LCA in 1983 after seventeen years. Pastor Miller left the congregation in 1987.
Pastor Virginia King was called as our new pastor in March 1988. During Pastor Ginny’s time at Resurrection a singles group was formed, and the church continued a strong outreach in our community.
Pastor Jon Buuck came to RLC in 1992, and under his leadership the church had a renewed excitement about our future here and real growth began to happen, more than ever before. The women’s group began to have yearly retreats, and the music was enhanced by the beautiful voices of Ruth Buuck and Lisa Koressel. A youth director was hired, Kim Vaughn and later Angel Seitz. Plans were drawn up for a three phase building project. On April 11, 1999, the new sanctuary was dedicated. We began to do the Thirty Hour Famine.
Resurrection welcomed Pastor Harry Biles and Sharey as their new leaders in September 2001. Our congregation continued to grow, and many exciting and new changes took place. Sharey was consecrated as a diaconal minister and installed here at Resurrection on September 29, 2002 as our first Director of Lay Ministries.
Under the strong spiritual leadership of Pastor Biles and Deaconal Minister Sharey Biles the congregation moved forward in substantial growth and many new outreach ministries. The old “committees” were renamed “ministries” and some have become the true heartbeat of the congregation such as a Mission Team Ministry. This ministry has made mission trips to serve those in need to hurricane devastated New Orleans. Another mission trip was made to Lutheran Navajo Mission School in Rock Point, AZ. Where a lot of construction work and clean up was done along with establishing a workable and updated library for the school. Still another mission trip took this team to Harlan, KY. Where they repaired and constructed many buildings and homes for those in need. The “Helping Hands” group from this team also has done numerous jobs in our local area including helping with Habitat for Humanity.
Outreach programs have also continued to grow with the quilters supplying around 150 quilts each year for Lutheran World Relief. Members continue to serve in the work at the Lebanon Food Pantry and A Prayer Shawl ministry was started to give prayer shawls to the sick or shut-ins. Another ministry started at this time was Spirit Scribe, a writing group who shared their writing with each other but also furnished writing for Advent and Lenten services. Interfaith Hospitality became a big ministry through these years with RLC hosting and feeding many homeless families during this time.
Arts ministry became very active during this time presenting many visual and performing arts shows, workshops. Performing arts, under the excellent direction of Bill Keezer created plays and dramas opportunities for those thespians in the church. These plays were well done and gave the congregations an opportunity to be a part of or the audience of what will be known as events of joy.
Equipping the Baptized was also formed at this time. They helped the individual congregants to understand their gifts and how to use them to the glory of God.
Junior High Ministry program continues to be a huge success with our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
Pastor and Sharey Biles, like the pastors that served here before them, all brought their own unique gifts to RLC.
Pastor and Sharey brought excellent teaching in worship and bible study and an awareness of our spiritual gifts as we had never known before. Pastor Harry Biles and wife Sharey left RLC in November of 2010.
May God continue to bless RLC as he has from the beginning in renewed faith and commitment to do God’s work in this place.
(Our Thanks to Connie Shoop for this article)