On November 2,1993, a small group of Christians began meeting with the thought of forming a mission congregation in southern Kent County or northern Allegan County. With help from Grace Lutheran Church, Wyoming, and their Senior Pastor, the Rev. Noble Lach, the group began Bible study. With many prayers and meetings the group became Epiphany Lutheran Church on February 1, 1994. The group had grown to 35 members and held it’s first worship service at the Dorr Elementary School on February 13, 1994. On September 25, 1994, Epiphany became a chartered congregation of the The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Sixty-six people signed the Charter and a Junior Charter was arranged for the children.
The group continued to grow. The church constitution was approved and accepted on July 9, 1995, and became a legally incorporated congregation in the State of Michigan on August 17, 1995. On November 5, 1995, we celebrated the Rite of Reception into the English District, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
A building fund was started. We began looking for land on which to build a sanctuary and in 1996 land was purchased in Dorr, Michigan. November 22, 1998, ground was broken for the $1,000,000 building including a sanctuary seating 240, classrooms, restrooms, kitchen and fellowship hall. Dedication of this edifice was held on September 26, 1999.
In October 1999, Pastor Lach, who had been serving us as Missionary at Large, retired. A call committee was formed and on Christmas Eve 1999, the Rev. Dr. Charles R. Hogg, Jr., accepted the call to serve the congregation. Pastor Hogg, was installed in the afternoon worship service on February 6, 2000. Among the highlights of his ministry among us were growth in knowledge and understanding of Biblical doctrine and appreciation for Lutheran liturgical practice. Sadly Pastor Hogg’s ministry to us concluded in 2005 when he left the Lutheran Church for a heterodox church body. However, we were blessed with the loving ministry and leadership of our interim pastor, the Rev. Mark Pflug. With Pastor Pflug’s guidance and support we were able to focus on our future, grounded in God’s grace and calling. In 2006 we called Seminary candidate Jonathon Krenz to be our shepherd. Pastor Krenz was ordained into the Holy Ministry and installed as our Pastor in a special afternoon service on June 18, 2006. He received a Divine Call to begin a Lutheran mission congregation in Moscow, Idaho, and began his service there in the summer of 2016.
In the interim, Epiphany was served well by the Rev. David Fleming and the other Pastors of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids. The congregation issued a Divine Call to Rev. Ryan Beffrey on March 19, 2017, to be our new Pastor. He accepted the Call April 23, 2017 and was Installed as Pastor June 4, 2017.
In 2019 Epiphany will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the congregation and the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the building. Plans for the celebrations are forthcoming.
Saved by God's Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9