Our story begins at the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth. While it is true that this worshipping community was not formed until the 1980s, our story reaches back much further because our story is the story of the church throughout all time. Our story is the continuation and outworking of the Apostle Paul's, of Peter's, of the early church, of Luther and the reformation. Our story is the story of the Saxon immigrants who left Germany in order to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments rightly in the face of pressure to compromise truth. Our story is the story of the church that reaches back from Adam and Eve and continues today. It is the continuation of God's work in this world to seek and save the lost.
It was in May of 1981 that Rev. Edward Devan, a few dedicated laypeople, and the Southeastern district of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began a mission plant to fill a need in the Northern Baltimore/Southern York county area. The small congregation of approximately 25 members began meeting at the 7th District Elementary School with a common love of the Lord and the desire to serve Him. Later that year, arrangements were made to move the services to Stabler’s Church, a small country stone church (with no indoor plumbing) built in 1816. Under the pastoral care of Rev. Carl Koerber, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church (as the little mission was named) soon officially became part of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod on "Organization Sunday" held on February 6, 1982. Soon thereafter, on October 31, 1982, a Charter Service was held that saw 35 adults and children sign the charter. At that time it was the vision of our small congregation to build a worship facility and a Christian school to serve the spiritual needs of our congregation and the surrounding communities.
Several years later we moved to a larger Methodist church facility which was vacant and there our first permanent pastor, Rev. Earl Schmiesing, was installed. Although he was only called to serve on a "part-time" basis, Pastor Schmiesing went above and beyond. During the next five years at the Methodist facility, we grew in size and in the Word, but much to our dismay, the building was then sold by the Methodist. We were forced to find another place to worship, and, as before, our Lord provided. We began worshiping in a building owned by a local Baptist church directly across the street from the Methodist facility. The facility was small and our use of it was limited, but it was the incentive we needed to begin our search for property for our future home. During the next few years, a 2 ¼ acre lot was donated to us at York and Middletown Roads in Parkton. Needless to say, we were elated! We had hoped this was going to be our future home, however, the Lord had other plans for us. Through a member of our congregation, the Lord provided a perfect location - six acres, very visible at I-83 and Downes Road where we are now located. With His continuing guidance and strength, members of our congregation together with the Laborers for Christ built the beautiful facility where we now worship. It was dedicated to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 31, 1993.
When Rev. Schmiesing retired, following over a decade of wonderful service, we were blessed with leadership from Rev. Ferdinand Noske and Rev. Alan Hartfield as we worked through the process of calling another pastor. After years of searching and prayers, Rev. James L. Banach became our first full-time pastor. He was installed on June 8, 1997. Pastor Jim served us faithfully for over 15 years, retiring at the end of 2012. During his tenure we went through many ups and downs, zig-zagging along the path that the Lord laid out for us. We never ended up building the school we had envisioned all those years earlier, but our campus was enlarged and we were able to construct a pavilion and a prayer path which has not only blessed us but the community at large.
Pastor Jim's retirement saw us once again in a position to trust the Lord's guidance as we began again the long process of calling another pastor. For well over a year and a half Rev. Gene Reichel served us as we waited for the Lord to chose our next pastor. A difficult time during the call process led us to place our trust in the seminaries and Council of Presidents of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Rather than continue to look for pastors who had been in the field for a number of years we decided to accept the assignment of a graduate directly from the seminary. We may not have had a say in the candidate but we know the Lord brought us the right man for the job. On August 10, 2014, Rev. Matthew Borrasso was installed as our pastor.
We do not look the same as we did in 1981. Sure, some faces are still the same, but others have come and gone. Yet, through good times and bad, God has worked to gather us as His people in this place, that He might serve us, and send us back out into the places we call home. Where the Lord will lead us in the future remains to be seen. But, we know that the God who called us by the Gospel, enlightened us with gifts of Word and Sacrament, will continue to guide and shape us as we partner in His mission of making disciples of all nations. That mission has been the mission of the church since the beginning, and that story is our story.