SEVENTH FULL-TIME PASTOR
The Rev. Norman Steinke accepted Christ congregation’s call to become our “turnaround pastor” for the length of time he considered to be adequate for our congregation. This is a specialized ministry developed by Rev. Steinke to assist congregations experiencing a decline in membership and also provides assistance to congregations considering relocation. It creates and implements a new structure for ministry, mobilizes parish leaders, develops cohesiveness among members, creates a sense of hope and mission, develops an effective outreach program, and establishes short- and long-term goals for the congregation. Pastor Steinke was installed as our parish “turnaround pastor” on August 7, 1994.
Increased Attendance Necessitates Move
With increased attendance at worship and Sunday school, Christ Lutheran relocated in October 1994 to the south end of the strip shopping center at 7321 S. Hulen Street.
Plans Initiated to Search for Property
Plans were made without delay to search for property as a building site for Christ Lutheran Church. Studies were performed by the Demographic and Site Selection committees.
The studies of these two committees resulted in our purchase of 11.99 acres of prime property from Parkwood Estates near the intersection of Sycamore School Road and South Hulen Street. (Eckerd Drugs had just completed their construction on the corner property.) The land was purchased on July 25, 1995. Shortly thereafter, two church signs were erected on the new property. Ground breaking took place on October 22, 1995.
Having interviewed several architects, the congregation chose Michael Barnes. He developed a master plot plan and explained its features to the congregation on October 28, 1995.
Phase I Groundbreaking
On April 28, 1996, groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted.
Start of Construction, Phase I
Initial site preparation for the construction of Phase I began June 25, 1996. The Building Committee began developing floor plans for internal use approximately one month prior to the start of construction. By so doing, sets of drawings were kept up-to-date with the latest committee decisions. By January 1996, a 3/8 scale model of our future Phase I facility was created so that all congregation members would be kept abreast of developments in construction. These internal drawings were coordinated with architect Michael Barnes, thereby saving a great deal of effort and cost on the part of the architect.
Permanent Certificate of Occupancy Granted
The City of Fort Worth granted Christ Lutheran Church a permanent certificate of occupancy on January 24, 1997.
The members of Christ Lutheran celebrated anniversaries of the congregation’s founding every five years beginning with the 20th anniversary. On February 23, 1997, the congregation celebrated its 45th anniversary.
Phase I Completed
All construction was completed by May 4, 1997, and the new Phase I facility was dedicated.
Adoption of New By-Laws
The voters’ assembly adopted new by-laws February 28, 1998, that reflected a change in congregational structure.
On November 1, 1998, the Rev. Norman Steinke preached his farewell sermon. Christ congregation rejoiced over the service that Pastor Steinke rendered from August 7, 1994, to November 1, 1998. At this point, he was ready for his next assignment at Zion Lutheran Church, Abilene, Texas.
The congregation experienced a vacancy with Pastor Steinke’s departure to Abilene. The Rev. David Bahn, Circuit Counselor, assisted Christ Lutheran administratively during the yearlong vacancy. Two pastors served Christ congregation during the vacancy: the Rev. Paul Uhles and the Rev. James Wells.