North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission hold 100 year anniversary, raise $60,000 for future goals

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, March 14, 2023

SALISBURY — In 1923, 10 men pledged to give $100 each for the next ten years to create a $10,000 fund that would allow the North Carolina Synod to build Lutheran churches across the state.

The first to be built was Cavalry Lutheran Church in Morganton in 1930.

Those 10 men continued to raise money by soliciting donations from Lutheran men across North Carolina. The revolving fund would become known as the “Loan and Gift Fund” and is the flagship ministry of the North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission, who gathered to celebrate 100 years of ministry Saturday at the Grace Lutheran Church in Salisbury. The event is held every year at different Lutheran churches to celebrate the history and success of the North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission. This year’s theme was a Bible verse from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Around 130 people gathered in the Grace Lutheran Family Life Center at 10 a.m. for a continental breakfast, followed by a presentation that went over the group’s history. Lunch was also served and then those gathered heard from keynote speaker Rev. Tim Smith. He is a bishop for the North Carolina Lutheran Synod, which is one of 65 synods in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States. A worship service was held following the speech.

“I thought that we had a fantastic reunion after the last couple of years with COVID and everything. We were able to have a good one and get the men together and make progress looking towards the future,” said Bob Smith, the president of the North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission.

Inspired by those 10 men in 1923, today the Lutheran Men in Mission are focusing on two other goals. A new fund was created called “The Scholarships for Seminarians” and is being used to help seminarians go through school without amassing debt. The “Lutheran Grace Fund” was also created to provide grants to churches and organizations for projects. A goal of $100,000 was set to supply both of these funds.

At the gathering on Saturday, the Lutheran Men in Mission made commitments to donate $60,000.

Smith said he was “ecstatic” about the money that was raised Saturday.

“That makes our goal a whole lot easier to reach than we thought. I think we figured if we got about $30,000 we’d be lucky,” he said.

Terry Edwards, the Lutheran Men in Mission ministry coordinator, also said he was proud of the men who came to the gathering and made pledges that would help the funds. He said they emulated what those 10 original men did in 1923.

“Those funds will go to the scholarships fund and to the Lutheran Grace Fund. We really got a great start to that program by trying to reenact through faith what ten guys did in 1923. The guys at this meeting made a commitment to advance our ministry into the future,” said Edwards.

The mission statement of the North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission is “to support men in their spiritual growth and in their social and intellectual development as they strive to deepen their commitment to Christ and to their families; and to provide strength and support as they grow in the life of the church and its evangelical mission.”