MUSKEGON — Four Lutheran churches in Muskegon soon will become one when a multi-year effort by Muskegon Metro Ministries culminates in the creation of Harbor of Grace Lutheran Church at 540 Houston Ave.

The congregations of Samuel Lutheran, Our Savior’s, Immanuel and St. Luke’s churches have voted to consolidate at the downtown Muskegon site of Samuel Lutheran, which recently celebrated the 144th anniversary of its founding with a joint worship with the four congregations.

The Rev. Jane Mountain, of Our Savior’s, is the transitional pastor of Harbor of Grace, assisted by the Rev. Chris Anderson, of Samuel.

The movement toward unification began several years ago with talks between the leadership of each church council, followed by increasingly frequent joint worship services and activities, including an annual summer picnic. Members say they recognized that pooled resources can breathe energy and vitality into the various ministries each individual church supports, magnifying the reach and scope of ministerial efforts that strengthen families and enrich the faith community.

After prayerful consideration, all four churches voted overwhelmingly to accept the consolidation plan Sept. 8.

Bishop Craig Satterlee of the North/West Lower Mission Synod – one of the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – will preside over a Festival Service, constitutional meeting and pastor installation on Sunday, Nov. 24.

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