There is a story that needs to be told. It is about a church in Ephrata. A church right near the intersection of 322 and 222, and no, it is not LCBC. The church is Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church, right across the street from LCBC Ephrata.
Nearly two years ago, LCBC realized the property we were looking to purchase for the Ephrata campus would require road improvements. The main road into the new campus, Hahnstown Road, would need to be widened to accommodate a new left turn lane for our traffic. This project required land from both LCBC’s future property AND the property of the Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church. Several large old maple trees would need to be removed from the church’s historical property to make the turning lane a reality. This church has been there for over 200 years and frankly, we (LCBC) were not sure what type of reaction we would get.
As we approached the Bergstrasse leadership about this road decision, we found out that their whole congregation would need to vote on the changes. A “no” vote on the turning lane by the members would make it more difficult for LCBC to build a church at this location. LCBC met with the church to discuss future plans. Two weeks later, the chairman of the Bergstrasse Church board stood up and told the congregation about LCBC and how LCBC is reaching people that they are not. The members took the vote and later we received a stunning phone call. The result of the vote was a unanimous “yes” to the turning lane!
There are some at Bergstrasse that have been teaching Sunday School longer than most of us at LCBC have been alive, and for them change might not come easy. This church does not play loud music, or have flashing lights, but this church has the same mindset that others matter and that more lives can be changed by Christ.
Each time I drive up to LCBC Ephrata, I see the widened road and the missing trees across the street and I say thank you to God for the people in that church. They were willing to sacrifice because they also want to introduce others to Jesus. There are many great churches in the Ephrata area and Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church is definitely one of them. LCBC is not coming to Ephrata to pull people from Bergrstrasse Lutheran, or any other church for that matter. We are coming to Ephrata to connect the unconnected so more can be introduced to Jesus.
If you get a chance, send a note to the people at Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church at 9 Hahnstown Road, Ephrata, PA 17522. Thank them for having a kingdom mindset, loving God and others and how we are excited to partner with them in the Ephrata community.