On August 27, 2023 Grace Celebration Lutheran Church in Cordova, Tennessee celebrated its 30th anniversary of ministry. Grace Celebration began its journey as a Mid-South District Mission Development Church. Pastor Roger Theimer was called as the first pastor to plant the mission church. He was joined by a small group of “church planting” young adults, some of whom had recently graduated from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, and volunteered to relocate to Memphis.
Bouncing around from one building facility to another for 7 years, Grace Celebration found its current home in 2000 with a dedication service in June. At that service the children sang, “The Church is not a building…the Church is the people,” and for thirty years since God has demonstrated His love and commitment to Grace Celebration.
Along with the Grace Celebration congregation, a number of members from the church’s beginning were able to attend. It was a wonderful mix of generations as Pastor Theimer returned for the anniversary celebration to share a message entitled, “The Good Ole Days…Are Yet to Come!” that inspired the congregation to give thanks for the blessings and abundant love that God has provided through the years, and also to anticipate and trust God’s love and blessings yet to come.
After a joyful worship service, offering thanksgiving and praise, our celebration continued with a luncheon. At the luncheon, many shared fun stories of the past and heartfelt sentiments of love and appreciation. Grace Celebration Senior Pastor Terry Tieman said of the festivities, “It was an enthusiastic reflection of God’s faithful hand through the last 30 years and a hopeful look for the future.”
The future is bright for Grace Celebration with God’s blessings in ministries that serve a wide range of people and partnerships including our Early Learning Childhood Center Summer Camp, recovery groups, food ministries, and Lifewise Academy, where we will teach public school children about Jesus during school hours. Through it all the gospel of Jesus Christ has nourished us through Word and Sacrament with the love of our gracious God and Savior Jesus Christ.
—Contributed by Pastor Jim Belles