Our Church Body
Holy Cross Ev. Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and contributes toward the mission work carried on through the synod. The WELS, based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the third largest Lutheran church body in America. It began in 1850 when three German pastors met in Milwaukee. Today, it has grown to over 1,200 congregations in North America. The WELS has over 400,000 baptized members, which includes over 300,000 communicants, served by over 1,000 pastors.
The synod operates four ministerial education schools: Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis.; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.; Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis.; and Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich.
As members of the WELS, we share with our fellow believers in our synod’s stated mission:
“As men, women, and children united in faith and worship by the Word of God, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod exists to make disciples throughout the world for time and for eternity, using the gospel in word and sacrament to win the lost for Christ and to nurture believers for lives of Christian service, all to the glory of God.”
In May of 1950 a group of Christians from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sterling Michigan began holding services at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Standish. At the time, Holy Cross had 13 members and shared a pastor with St. John’s. In 1955 a piece of property on the east side of Standish, where our building now stands, was purchased. On October 12, 1958 a building had been completed and was dedicated. The membership at the time was 41.
In 1981 additional property was purchased next to the church’s property to build a parsonage. This parsonage was completed in December of 1981. Also in 1981 a move was made to make Holy Cross a single, self-supporting congregation. This lasted until 1994 when Holy Cross and St. John’s once again became a dual perish. Starting at this time both St. John’s Lutheran Church and Holy Cross Lutheran Church were served by a semi-retired pastor.
On October 5, 2008 the members of Holy Cross Ev. Lutheran Church and a number of like-minded Lutherans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Holy Cross’ building at 910 E. Cedar St. in Standish, MI.
On December 31st, 2009 St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sterling held its last service and closed its doors. St. John’s joined with Holy Cross Lutheran Church at this time. In May of 2010, Holy Cross Lutheran Church called their first full-time pastor in 15 years. We continue to preach Christ Crucified to a sin-filled world.
Holy Cross Ev. Lutheran Church is currently without a permanent pastor. Pastor Larry Seafert, from St. Bartholomew, Kawkawlin, MI, is serving as our vacancy pastor. The Holy Cross voters are in the process of calling a new pastor.