EIGHTH FULL-TIME PASTOR
After a yearlong search and interviews with several pastors, the Rev. Randall C. Bard accepted our call. He was serving as pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Bowie, Texas, at the time of our call. Pastor Bard is a 1997 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He served his vicarage at four rural congregations in southwest Oklahoma: St. John, Lone Wolf; St. John, Granite; Faith, Altus; and Christ, Elk City. Prior to entering ministerial training, he was manager for United Parcel Service, working out of the Tulsa Package Center. His undergraduate degree was earned at Oral Roberts University in Theological and Historical Studies.
The installation of the Rev. Randall C. Bard as the eighth pastor of Christ Lutheran Church was held October 24, 1999.
Since his installation two years ago, Pastor Bard has exercised his leadership in the increase of Sunday school and Bible class attendance. He has also been selected by the Texas District to enter the Pastoral Leadership Institute for advanced studies, leading to a future doctorate degree.
2001 Year-End Statistics
The close of year 2001 revealed the following congregational statistics:
- 301 baptized members
- 150 voting members
- Proposed budget for 2002 (all purposes) $225,000.
Only one charter member maintains membership with Christ Lutheran Church today: Mrs. Maurine Murphy.
Christ Lutheran celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on February 24, 2002 with a visit by the synodical President, Dr. Gerald Kieschnick. President Kieschnick, who had previously served as the Texas district president, honored our congregation by preaching the sermon at a special afternoon service.
Our fiftieth anniversary was also celebrated by a large potluck dinner and the presentation of a commemorative quilt by Doris Lucio made up of fabric squares decorated by each Christ Lutheran family group.
The Tarrant County Appraisal District made several advances toward Christ Lutheran at this time stating that too much of its property was not dedicated for religious purposes. Pastor Bard and Texas Representatives Bill Zedler and Anna Mowery worked to pass legislation to provide tax relief for such cases.
These tax problems moved Christ Lutheran to sell about three acres of its land to nearby Genesis United Methodist Church. It also persuaded it to begin considering the construction of a multipurpose center.
Construction of Multipurpose Center and First Capital Campaign
On March 2, 2003, Christ Lutheran decided to step forward in faith to build a multipurpose center for the purposes of ministry and outreach to the community. The multipurpose center carried a cost of nearly $1 million. To finance this debt, Christ Lutheran engaged in its first capital campaign in many year themed “Building Our Faith – Building Our Future”. The multipurpose center and additional classroom space were officially dedicated with a ceremony held in the gym area celebrated on February 29, 2004 to also commemorate Christ Lutheran’s fifty-second anniversary.
Praise Team and Second Service
Christ Lutheran took another large step in faith with the official start of a second more contemporary-style service in the fall of 2004. This service has become firmly established as an energetic part of Christ Lutheran’s ministry.
In 2005, Christ Lutheran undertook a time of strategic planning. This planning was initiated with a survey taken of the congregation to assess its strengths and weaknesses and to determine which opportunities we wanted to pursue. The results of this survey were shared with the congregation in a three-day weekend of study, analysis, and prayer. This was on August 12-14, 2005. From that weekend, six strategic goals were formed.
- Senior Ministry / Barnabas House
- Parents’ Day Out Program
- Second Capital Campaign
- Increased Outreach
- Member Connectedness
- Second Called Worker
Christ Lutheran struck out on enacting its first strategic planning goal in June 2006 when it started a senior lunch program in coordination with Senior Social Services of Tarrant County two days a week, Monday and Wednesday.
The success of this program soon added a third day for lunch on Fridays. Despite some ups and downs, Barnabas House goes on strong to this day.
Parents’ Day Out Program
The second of the strategic planning goals to be enacted was the start of Christ Lutheran’s Mothers’ Day Out program in September of 2006. El Ortiz served as the PDO director for the 2006-2007 year and Connie Bard served as the PDO director for the 2007-2008 year. Due to a number of logistical and legal challenges, the PDO program was discontinued in May 2008.
Second Capital Campaign
Christ Lutheran held its second capital campaign in the spring of 2007. This four-year campaign was promoted on the theme of “It Matters!”. Its goals were to eliminate Christ Lutheran’s outstanding capital debt from the construction of its multipurpose center while freeing up additional financial resources for mission and ministry from interest savings.
Tribulations and Losses
Christ Lutheran also experienced a number of dramatic changes and losses during this time. Our full-time church secretary, left us in the winter of 2006. Due to financial struggles, the congregation decided to proceed from that point with a secretary on a part-time schedule.
Over the period of a year between 2007 and 2008, Christ Lutheran experienced three critical losses amongst its leading members. Al Reinhardt, Al Doherty, and Will Wilde were all called home to their Savior during this time. In May 2008, Pastor Bard accepted a call to Bethel Lutheran Church in Bryan, TX.
Christ Lutheran was blessed during the following fifteen-month vacancy by being served well by Pastor Fred Gersch.
Gas Lease Monies
Due to gas lease exploration of the Barnett Shale, Christ Lutheran was blessed by an unexpected windfall of $160,000 in 2008. A large portion of this money was dedicated to the cause of retiring capital debt, and another significant portion reserved for the purpose of maintaining an emergency fund.
WORM Sunday School Program
During our vacancy, Christ Lutheran revised its children’s Sunday School program by moving to a rotation-model in which the same Bible lesson is covered through different aspects including video, music and movement, computer usage, and others.