Our History

Purpose Statement: Lutheran Church of the Savior will joyfully share God's love in community. 


Unifying Principles

  • We are generous to others because God's generosity empowers us.
  • We reach across boundaries.
  • Jesus' love inspires us to advocate for peace and justice wherever Christ guides us.
  • We are Christ centered.
  • We commit to God's life-changing mission.

Who We Are


It was in 1966 in Kalamazoo, Michigan that a few citizens discovered they were not the only ones with interest in forming a Lutheran church. These few citizens worked together with their community to make a place of worship all their own. In 1967 they came together to form Lutheran Church of the Savior a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church plant. Worship services were lead by Pr. Neibacher in the Parchment High School auditorium.  


By 1968 the congregation had outgrown this space and ground was broken for a new worship building. With a place of their own, the Lutheran Church of the Savior (LCS) took off, averaging a 200 person membership with 100-150 service attendants each Sunday. Their newly found community was compassionate, strong, and filled with inspiration for the future of their church. Eager to serve, LCS began supporting mission trips and community involvement. In 1977 LCS voted to leave the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and LCS became part of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC). In 1988 the AELC along with the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and American Lutheran Church (ALC) merged to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) which LCS is part of. 


In 1990 the sanctuary was remodeled and LCS added a new wing of classrooms and a larger kitchen. In 1997 Our Redeemer Lutheran Church on Gull Road voted to close and many members brought their gifts to LCS. In 1998 Deb Rafferty became our organist and she is still sharing her musical gifts with LCS. 

In 2016 LCS sponsored the Vihamba family, refugees from the Congo, to come to Kalamazoo. In 2017 LCS celebrated its 50 year anniversary, and under the leadership of Pr. Andrew Tengwall LCS began sharing our worship space with the African Christian Fellowship (ACF). The ACF Christian worship community made up of refugees from the Congo and other countries in Africa who have relocated to the Kalamazoo area. They are lead by Pr. Joshua Kibezi and worship Sundays from 3-5 p.m. Pr. Andrew left to take another call in 2018 and we welcomed Pr. Paul Nuechterlein as Interim. In 2019 LCS voted to call Pr. Nikki Smith as our next pastor and she was installed on Sunday March 24th. 

Today we continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and seek to grow in faith, and live out our faith by loving and serving in our community and the world. We continue to strive to be a place where all feel the love of Christ. 

About Lutheran Church of the Savior