Found over on SynodConvention.com. Watch that site for good information on the synod convention July 9-14 in Milwaukee.
I’m privileged to serve as the president of Immanuel Lutheran Church & School, where Christopher Esget is our senior pastor. Immanuel is located just outside of Washington, D.C., in Alexandria, Virginia. The baptized membership of Immanuel has more than doubled in the last decade. Confirmed membership has also grown. And average weekly attendance at Immanuel has gone up dramatically. All of these increases have occurred at a time when when Synodical, Regional and District baptized membership, confirmed membership and weekly attendance have faced decline.
In terms of the rate of growth in baptized members, Immanuel Alexandria is in the top 1% of congregations for its size, top 5% of congregations in the Southeastern District, and top 2% of congregations in the Synod. Immanuel is in the top 5% of congregations in Synod in rate of growth in confirmed membership. Immanuel is among the top 4% of congregations in Synod for weekly attendance.
We know that our congregation’s size is given by God alone. God has blessed Immanuel richly under Pastor Christopher Esget, for which we give Him thanks and praise. We are also thankful that this growth has happened under our pastor’s faithful preaching and administration of the sacraments.
Under Pastor Esget’s leadership, we turned our failing parochial school into a thriving center of the community. We did this by changing to a classical curriculum and by increasing the centrality of Lutheran education. In 10 years we have grown from 60 students to 150, and our Congregational support of the school helps us keep tuition costs much lower than other private and parochial schools in Alexandria. While other parochial schools have tried to soften their religious character, we have strengthened and reinforced our Lutheran identity. To meet the needs of our growing church and school, we’re now midway through a $5 million building project.
More important than numerical growth or size, though, we appreciate Pastor Esget for how he is helping us grow in fear and knowledge of our Lord.
Dr. Leo Mackay, Vice President Ethics & Sustainability at Lockheed Martin