Lutherans Preach the Bible in Surprise, Arizona

BisericaLuteranaBiserica Luterana Evanghelica in Arizona

Three hundred new people or more visit Shepherd of the Valley Evangelical Lutheran Church Surprise each year. Sometimes a visitor will ask, “Are you the same as the other Lutheran churches in Surprise and Phoenix? Pastor John Sprain has been pastor at Shepherd of the Valley for eleven years. He responds that not all Lutheran churches are the same. Today in the United States there are three larger Lutheran church bodies. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the largest, followed by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). The smallest of the larger church bodies is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Shepherd of the Valley is a member of this last group. The difference between these three church groups is seen in their faithfulness to the Bible. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod confesses that the entire Bible is the inspired word of God without error. They join with Martin Luther, the German reformer, in the following confession of faith. The Bible teaches that all people are sinful and deserve God’s eternal condemnation. However, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, came to live a righteous life in our place and to die an innocent death for us. He rose from the dead and all who believe in him have the free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Martin Luther was greatly encouraged by the passage of St. Paul to the Romans (1:17), “the righteous will live by faith.” The Lutheran pastors would invite all those who are interested in learning more of the Bible to join us at Shepherd of the Valley Evangelical Lutheran Church in Surprise. The church is located at 14650 W. Bell Road in Surprise. Worship services are at 8:30 and 11 a.m. on Sunday. There is also a Saturday worship service at 6 p.m. There is Sunday school for children on Sunday at 9:40 a.m. There are a number of Bible study groups that meet on Sunday and throughout the week.

Shepherd of the Valley started in 1997 with a group of thirty people who wanted to spread the good news of the Bible in Surprise. Today the church is blessed to have over200 members who have joined together to worship God around the Bible and the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The people also enjoy a number of food fellowships and other activities throughout the year. Because of the growth of the congregation and the opportunities to help people, the congregation in 2007 called Pastor Kirby Spevacek, a retired pastor, to assist in the ministry. Pastor Kirby Spevacekhas served in the world- wide ministry of the WELS. He has been a missionary serving in Africa, Bulgaria and the Apache Indian reservation in Arizona. In his travels he has also been blessed to visit Romania. If Pastors Sprain and Spevacek can be of assistance please call them at 623-975-0605.

Octavian D. Curpas

Surprise, Arizona

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