Plans for a New Mission in 2007
For several years the Lord put upon the hearts of a handful of pastors and lay leaders in the Montgomery and Grimes county areas to plant a Lutheran church in historic Montgomery, Texas. With regular encouragement and urging from Rev. Dan Schoessow, who was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Anderson, a formal group of representatives from surrounding congregations begin meeting in early 2007. During the fall of that same year a location was identified and a Missionary Pastor/Church Planter was called. The site was the historic Old Baptist Church (built in 1903 and owned by the Historic Society) and the Pastor was Rev. David R. Bailes of Spring. Pastor Bailes was serving part-time at Living Word Lutheran Church in The Woodlands and accepted their call to go serve part-time in Montgomery.
Montgomery Lutheran Mission
Montgomery Lutheran Church had its first worship service on December 2, 2007. It was a momentous occasion as the building that had been without regular worship services bulged to capacity. By early 2008, worship attendance was averaging 45 each Sunday and there were regular meetings to get the church chartered as a recognized congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Once again, the sanctuary was filled and resounded with joyful sounds on Easter morning of 2008. A choir, brass instrumentalists and our newly-arrived Organist, Judy Kutach, made sure that day would not soon be forgotten.
After Easter, the members and leadership worked tirelessly to move forward with the plans to charter the congregation. The name, Living Savior Lutheran Church, was adopted and the initial Church Council was formed, led by Richard Wiese, Sr. as President. Work continued in order to fulfill all the requirements to meet the goal of chartering by the end of 2008.
Living Savior Lutheran Church Chartered
On November 2, 2008, Living Savior Lutheran Church celebrated and gave thanks to God for its establishment as a chartered LCMS congregation at the Montgomery Middle School. The surrounding/supporting congregations were invited to be a part of that special day.
Due to the growing needs of a congregation regularly having 85 people in worship each Sunday, Living Savior Lutheran Church added Rev. Dr. Al Franzmeier to the staff to serve part-time along with Pastor Bailes for a few months. In April 2009 Living Savior expanded the ministry that Pastor Bailes was serving to full-time. On November 8, 2009 Living Savior added a second Sunday morning worship service. This additional service came in God's perfect timing as several new families joined as members over the next several months.
Formal Call of Rev. David R. Bailes as Pastor
Since the beginning of the mission and church plant of Living Savior in Montgomery, Pastor Bailes was serving with the Call he received through Living Word Lutheran Church, The Woodlands. After going through the regular Call Process, Living Savior Lutheran Church formally called Pastor Bailes in July 2010. He was installed on August 8, 2010 as the first Pastor called directly by Living Savior Lutheran Church.
In the early meetings of the new mission, three general goals were set: 1. charter as a congregation; 2. call first pastor and 3. purchase property.
New Home for Living Savior
By the end of 2010 Living Savior had over 150 members and was averaging around 100 in worship each Sunday. It was time to find a new home. After extensive research and consideration of options in the area, Living Savior purchased the Bells of Montgomery property next door to the Old Baptist Church building. The property was originally owned by the Methodist Church, so it was also known as the Old Methodist Church (chapel built in 1908). July 3, 2011 was the last service in the Old Baptist Church building. At the end of the service, Pastor Bailes led the worshipers next door to the new church home. July 10th was the first service in the new building and dedication of the Sanctuary, including a new organ, took place on July 17th. The new facilities included an Annex (Sacristy and meeting space) attached to the Sanctuary, a two-story Family Life Center (Kitchen/Fellowship Hall and Offices downstairs and Sunday School Classrooms upstairs) and a Garage/Barn. Through generous and sacrificial giving, the Lord blessed the congregation with the ability to pay off the mortgage. On June 2, 2013 the members of Living Savior gave thanks to God while burning the mortgage.