Faith’s Heritage

Faith’s Heritage

In 1974, Pastor E.L. Stallings led a small group of Lutherans out of the Missouri Synod so we could form a congregation faithfully built on the Scriptures and the historic Lutheran Confessions. By God’s grace, we soon formed Faith Lutheran Church as an independent Lutheran congregation in May of 1974. Faith’s mission was to uphold, teach and spread the name of Jesus Christ, the world’s Savior, to the people of San Antonio.

In our early years, we did not own property or have a formal place to worship. Because of this, we searched for a temporary, yet suitable, worship location until we could purchase property of our own. Our first services were held in the Ridgeview Elementary School auditorium. We worshipped there for six months. We used a portable folding altar. We kept what hymnals we had in various members’ homes, along with other worship implements like candles, offering plates, and a communion set. Each Sunday would begin with an “unloading and set up party” before our Sunday school or worship service could be held.

After six months in Ridgeview, we found a small warehouse space on Gulfdale. We used a  portable altar, added folding tables, chairs, and even partitions to form makeshift Sunday school rooms. Some of our members put their carpentry skills to good use, building a lectern and pulpit to assist us in worship. Our warehouse space began to look like a church.

In 1975 Pastor Stallings left. During the interim, Pastor Herbert Wiederanders, a retired Lutheran pastor, served us until the Lord provided a permanent pastor. At that time, Pastor Wiederanders had been in the ministry for fifty years and was seventy-five years old.

When Pastor Wiederanders began to serve us while we were an independent congregation. This soon changed too. It was important to us that we find a Lutheran church body that still held to the Scripture in all its teachings. We knew the importance of joining together with other like-minded Christians. God provided. We found that the WISCONSIN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD (WELS) and the EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD (ELS) continued to be faithful to Scripture in every doctrine. In June 1976, we decided to join the ELS. At that time we called Pastor Norman Harstad to serve as our first full-time ELS pastor. The congregation continued to meet on Gulfdale until March of 1977.

A House was converted into a Church.
Inside Sanctuary

In March of 1977, we purchased property just south of Thousand Oaks at 14819 Jones-Maltsberger. We renovated the house which stood on the property. We now had a formal sanctuary in which to worship with adjoining classrooms, a kitchen, and office space. We dedicated our new sanctuary to God’s glory in 1977. We worship at this address still.

Following Pastor Harstad, Pastor Herbert Larson served us from 1980-1990. Pastor Randall Nepsund followed Pastor Larson, serving us from 1992-1999.

Kitchen added (to the left)

In July 2000, Pastor Matthew Crick began the Lord’s work among us, having graduated from our Synod’s seminary in June of that same year. He continued to serve us until he took a call in April of 2014. In 2004 we hired an architect to design for us two additions to our original building. Phase I included a new kitchen and 4 large classrooms.

New Sanctuary

Phase II included a new narthex, bathrooms, an infant/child room, and a new sanctuary with a capacity of 160 worshippers. In January of 2011, we dedicated our new sanctuary to God’s service and glory.

In 2014, We called Pastor David Thompson to be our pastor.  He was installed on August 3rd of 2014.  Pastor Thompson faithfully served us and in January of 2019, became the supervising bishop of Vicar Patrick Ernst.  Pastor Thompson took a call to a church in Illinois.  Vicar Ernst continued in his studies and served us until the end of his vicarage year.  He was assigned to a church in Michigan.  His work there began on December 8th of 2019.

Faith then called Rev. Daniel Ruiz, the co-pastor at Hope Lutheran in Leander, TX.  His work at Faith began on December 8th of 2019.

We would love to have you join us for our Worship Service to our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The doors are always open to you.

In Christ,  The members of the Faith Lutheran Church

Some of our Former Pastors…

Pastor Herbert Larson
Pastor Matthew Crick
Pastor David Thompson
Pastor Patrick Ernst
Pastor Dan Ruiz

Memories