St. Matthew Lutheran Church to celebrate 50 years

Roger Vigland stands next to the sign in front of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday. Vigland is the chairman of the Spring Lake-area church’s 50th anniversary committee and was the chairman of the building committee that saw the church constructed at its current location.

SPRING LAKE TWP. — A pair of former pastors will return to help St. Matthew Lutheran Church celebrate its 50th anniversary. 

The celebration will take place Sunday, Nov. 3, at the church, 15395 Rannes St.

The celebration service will feature Pastor David Davis, who was at the church from 1984-94, as well as Pastor Michael Goers, who served from 2006-19. Davis is currently the pastor of St. Luke Lutheran in Haslett, while Goers is the pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Traverse City. 

St. Matthew is currently in the process of calling a new pastor. 

Roger Vigland is the chairman of the church’s 50th anniversary committee. He’s in a unique position to appreciate the significance of the anniversary, as he was the chairman of the building committee that saw the church constructed at its current location in Spring Lake Township.

“The first service was Nov. 2, 1969, and was held at Holmes Elementary School,” said Vigland, 85. “We had approximately 100 people there. The church has gone through a variety of changes since then. I guess all churches have.”

Vigland said one thing has remained the same – the church has continued to be very active in its mission efforts. In 2009, five members of the congregation made a trip to Novosibirsk, Russia, where they helped provide repairs and build relationships with members of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

The church also supports L.A.M.P. – the Lutheran Association of Missionary Pilots. The program introduces Bible activities to children in remote areas of Canada. 

St. Matthew started as a result of an effort by a pair of local Lutheran churches – St. John’s in Grand Haven and St. Luke in Nunica.

Light refreshments will be served after Sunday’s service, which begins at 9:30 a.m. 

“Both pastors (Davis and Goers) have been very popular at St. Matthew, and I think it’s going to be a great service,” Vigland said. 

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