The people of God
The Church has 260 members with an average worship attendance of 130. The size of the congregation is about average for Lutheran churches in the Piedmont. Being faithful to God’s call, we are experiencing growth. The people of God at Community Lutheran Church are actively involved in faith formation, bible study, confirmation classes and serving in ministries. There is a good balance between young families and senior members.
CLC is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; we believe the Holy Bible with both Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God; and we subscribe to the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. The flagship of the Lutheran faith is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Community Lutheran Church adheres to the Constitution of the ELCA and the North Carolina Synod, but operates with its own constitution. The 12 member church council is responsible for the conduct and business of the church. The pastor is called, not hired.
History at a Glance
Community Lutheran Church was founded by a dedicated group of mission developers recruited from the Summerfield community in 1991. The family met in storefront locations for a number of years and in 1996 built the current church. The family has grown and emerged from mission identity to a well-defined church family with vision and hope. The Reverend Gary Nelson is Community Lutheran Church’s fourth called pastor.
The pastor of CLC is called by God through the church and called by the church through God. All ELCA pastors are required to meet certain standards, such as full time gospel ministry, (ELCA pastors do not have second jobs). Though the pastor is the shepherd of the family, Lutherans affirm the priesthood of believers, so all people are called as ministers of the gospel. CLC’s pastor is the Reverend Gary Nelson, a second career Lutheran Pastor and graduating from Jamestown Community College with an Associate degree in Science, Oswego State College with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Gettysburg Seminary with a Masters degree in Religion, Wartburg Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, and Pittsburgh Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree. He was ordained on August 21st, 1988, was the pastor of two small churches in Erie, PA for six and a half years, and then the House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Aliquippa, PA.
The church is located near the intersection of US 220 North and 150 West in Summerfield, North Carolina. It occupies a ridge on 15 acres of wooded land with ample parking space amidst a quiet and peaceful setting. The building features a large fellowship hall, classrooms, offices, and the Sanctuary seats 220 for worship. A modern kitchen with full serving capabilities can serve meals and functions for seated or buffet style meals. CLC’s building was built with expansion in mind.