Planning for our church began years before the church was formed. In November 1977 a call went out to Reverend Robert Lineberger to become a Pastor Developer for a new mission congregation in Chesterfield County, Virginia. By early 1978, Pastor Lineberger has identified a group of dedicated Christians who were interested in forming a new Lutheran congregation. This group first met formally on February 5, 1978 in the parsonage to discuss the organization of what was to become our Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. The first worship service was held in March of 1978.
The exercise room at the Chesterfield YMCA became our Sunday morning worship “home.” Each Sunday morning, the exercise room at the “Y” was converted from a musty, swimming-pool-chlorine fragrant shell to our worship space. The altar and lectern were portable and collapsible; chairs were unstacked and set out in rows; hymnals and altar paraments were moved from the Pastor’s van; and homemade banners decorated the walls. An occasional siren from our neighboring fire department sometimes accompanied our worship services. Following each service, hardy Lutherans took to the task of converting the room back to its normal appearance. This was our Sunday morning “routine” for five long years.
Significant dates during this period:
June 4, 1978: Our first Holy Communion Service
September 10, 1978: Charter Sunday
November 1, 1978: Submitted request to the Virginia Synod for formal organization of the congregation.
February 4, 1979: Organization Sunday. LCOS was recognized by the Virginia Synod as an organized congregation with 63 adults and 31 children. The congregation voted to call Reverend Robert Lineberger as its first Pastor. Pastor Lineberger was installed on May 13, 1979.
In January 1983, LCOS worship services moved from the YMCA to the old Tomahawk Baptist Church facility on Hull Street Road. (The Tomahawk congregation had just moved into their brand new church building next door, leaving the original structure empty.) Even though the building was originally constructed in 1911, it was a welcome home for us and served our worship needs well for another five years. While we still dealt with musty air and squeaky floors, we were grateful for a somewhat permanent home…at least one where we could have the hymnal, paraments, and banners in place and where we had actual pews instead of plastic chairs.
In May 1986, LCOS Church Council met with Virginia Synod representatives who authorized our first building program. Our building committee was formed in October, 1986.
In March 1987, Reverend Joseph Vought was installed as our second Pastor. When Joe was called as our Pastor, we were still meeting at the Tomahawk Baptist Church site. Excitement built quickly as a Building Committee came to life, teamed up with the Synod architect on plans, selected a builder, and got started.
On May 10, 1987, Pastor Vought officiated at our LCOS groundbreaking service and in January 1988, our new church building was dedicated. This was an exciting day, especially after numerous construction delays, a controversy or two with building inspectors over the building design and a move-in day complicated by the first big snow storm of the year.
Growth continued and in April 1988, we began a schedule of two Sunday morning worship services (8:30 and 11:00 a.m.). Dedication of an expanded church building was held on May 19, 1991. This addition doubled the size of our Sanctuary and provided us with a much-needed education wing.
From 1993 to 1997, we were spiritually and financially able to sponsor Seminary Interns to serve as student pastoral assistants: Ann Rowe (1993-1994); Jeff Lott (1994-1995); Jean Horman (1995-1996); Stacey Brady (1996-1997).
In 1997, Pastor Joe accepted a call to Muhlenburg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg.
On October 18, 1998 Reverend Kenneth Ruppar was installed as our pastor. Pastor Ruppar had retired from his career as a U.S. Army Chaplain and accepted the call to be our third pastor. During his tenure, we reorganized our ministry teams, launched an annual craft fair, renovated our building, and consolidated our two worship services into one.
Pastor Ruppar retired from the ministry and LCOS in May 2013.
On March 14, 2015 Reverend Kathryn Pocalyko was ordained and installed as our fourth pastor. In 2021 Pastor Katie accepted a call to Living Faith Lutheran Church in Rockville, Maryland; her last service at LCOS was October 10.
During this transitional period, retired pastor and LCOS member Reverend Christopher J. Price served as interim pastor November 21, 2021 – May 31, 2022, at which point Reverend Rebecca Ajer Frantz accepted the call to serve as LCOS’ fifth pastor. She was installed July 24.
Material taken from “A Taste of Heaven,” Lutheran Church of Our Saviour 25th Anniversary Cookbook © 2004 Morris Press Cookbooks.