At the beginning of 1969, when both the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and our country were in disarray, Epiphany Lutheran Church speculated with the tenacity of a major Wall Street firm on people, not money. This early group had true “spiritual grit.” They longed for a resurrection of purpose, a sense of honor, a commitment, all things aside, to stress Christ crucified in an uninhibited manner. They prayed unceasingly.
God answered prayer in 1969, and through his Holy Spirit, has been guiding our progress ever since. And to what success! We at Epiphany can only proclaim with David that, “This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe.”
In January of 1969, the first official service was conducted in the gymnasium of St. Joe Central School, under the direction of Rev. Arthur Machinske, whose joyous spirit is our legacy today. Our name, Epiphany, originates from the season in which we began.
In December, 1972, dedication services were conducted for the new church. It was constructed for $134,000 on the current site. Controversy within the Missouri Synod began to fester in 1973. As the controversy grew, battle lines were drawn among members in many congregations, including Epiphany.
Rev. Dr. John Ribar was installed as Pastor in August of 1976, and Epiphany voted by a margin of 10-1 to leave the Missouri Synod and join the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC). In 1988, Epiphany became a member of the newly-formed Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).
Rev. Steven Albertin was installed as Epiphany’s third pastor, following the resignation of Rev. Ribar, who was led to pursue a new ministry in chemical addiction pastoral counseling. In 1992, voters committed to begin expansion and renovation of Epiphany’s building at a cost of $236,500. Ground-breaking occurred Easter Sunday and the project was completed and dedicated in September of the same year.
Pastor Richard Hartman was called to serve as Epiphany’s pastor in July, 2000, and continues to serve Epiphany today.
God has blessed Epiphany over the years and today is privileged to serve approximately 250 members and to God alone we give the glory!