A Place to Worship, to learn and to serve

Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church is a warm caring fellowship of Faith. Our congregation, which has grown to over 300, strives to communicate God's awesome gift of love to our ever changing world. We are a collection of natives of East Tennessee and transplants from other parts of the country who now call East Tennessee our home. We share a common faith in Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.

  • Pastors:  Mark Rhoads & Brian Truog

    Our Beginnings:
    • 1996 A group of people, led by the Holy Spirit sought to plant a new Lutheran Church in East Tennessee.
    • 1997 We worshipped in a store front while purchasing 7 acres on Highway 72 and Wade Road.
    • 1998 A building committee was established as Rev. Bob Torgler served as worship leader.
    • 1999 Dedicated members paid for the property
    • 2000 In May the construction of the new worship facility was begun.
    • 2001 The first worship Service in the new church was held on January 7th. On August 26th our first permanent pastor, Rev. Jim Kirk, was installed.
    • 2009 The church membership has now grown to over 300. We have added a Christian Ministry Center that will expand our worship and fellowship facilities.

    Who we are:
    • We are a people who share a common faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
    • We are natives of East Tennessee and transplants from other parts of the country.
    • We live in Blount, Loudon, Knox, Monroe, and Roane counties.
    • We worship with different styles in order to meet people's needs
    • We are a growing church with over 200 in worship on a regular basis

  • Pastor's Message

    Reform School

    Were you ever in reform school? If you were, you probably don’t want to admit it. Reform schools were for juvenile delinquents … underage criminals who did not belong in the adult prison environment. Reform schools were for bad kids … not “good” kids, like us. But, truth is, we all belong in reform school.


    “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:12)

    Martin Luther became aware of his sinfulness and his need for personal reform. He made great effort to bring about reform in his life through piety and discipline as a monk, but he could find no peace or satisfaction. The Church of Luther’s day promoted personal reform through penance and indulgences. Here again, Luther found no peace or satisfaction. Instead, he found greed and abuse, leaving people with little or no consolation.

    The only place Luther could find peace and satisfaction was in the promise of the righteousness of God being given as a free gift to sinful human beings by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 3: 21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). Since the church was not offering this promise to its people, Luther, and others, saw the need for reform, and started the movement we now call the Reformation. (We will celebrate Reformation Day at the end of this month).

    In our Sunday morning Bible class we have been watching the series, The Chosen. Several characters in this series have emphasized that they are ongoing students, learning from the Master, (Jesus/God).
    We, too, are ongoing students of the Master. We are in an ongoing process of reformation as bap-tized children of God. We are in “reform school,” if you will, and we should not be ashamed to admit it. This school is not for the “good” kids. It’s for the “delinquents,” of whom I am the worst. (1 Timothy 1:15)

    This school accepts all delinquents, free of charge. The price has been paid by the Teacher, Jesus. In His suffering, death and resurrection, He has brought us forgiveness, eternal life, salvation, and His righteousness. Because of His undeserved love for us (grace), we have been chosen and set apart (reformed).

    Share your experience in reform school with others, and let them know there is room here for them, too!

    Pastor Brian Truog                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • Pastor's Message

    The Gospel According to Mark

    Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11

    No, I am not referring to myself in the title of this article. The Mark that I, and St. Paul in the above Scripture verse, refer to is John Mark. His mother’s house was a meeting place for believers (Acts 12:12). He heard Peter preach many times. It is generally agreed that the gospel he wrote was taken from sermons he heard Peter preach.

    Mark wrote his gospel to mainly Gentile Christians living in Rome. They were unfamiliar with many Jewish customs, but they were familiar with the basic story of Jesus. One of Mark’s intentions in writing his gospel is to strengthen their confidence in the power and wisdom of Jesus in the face of great persecution.

    Mark is the primary Gospel read in the current year, the second year, of our three-year cycle of readings. This month, we will hear four accounts of the power and wisdom of Jesus. In the reading for September 5, Jesus heals a deaf/mute man. The following week, Jesus drives an evil spirit out of a boy. On September 19, when the disciples are arguing over being the greatest, Jesus brings forth a little child and proclaims whoever welcomes one of these little ones is the greatest. The month ends with another important lesson for disciples. When the disciples are angry at a man performing miracles in Jesus’ name who is not part of their group, Jesus assures them that whoever is not against them is really for them.

    As I read these Scripture passages, I noticed they all had one thing in common. The individual encountering Jesus never says a word. The ones healed in the first two weeks don’t ask to be healed, and don’t verbally respond to the healing. The little child and the man spoken about in the last two weeks offer nothing. It’s as if Mark is telling his readers, it’s not about you. It’s all about Jesus. This is truly good news! There have been times I have not listened to the Spirit speaking to me, times I have not spoken up in defense of my faith, times I have longed for greater recognition, times I have been critical of Christians that were not Lutheran. Mark assures me that Jesus came for me, died for me, rose for me and is now at the right hand of the Father interceding for me. Come to think about it, that is the same gospel message that I cling to and proclaim. It turns out, this is the gospel according to Mark Rhoads- and the gospel according to you!

    Do you sometimes question why there is so much evil and suffering in this world? Do you sometimes struggle in your faith walk- what God is doing? My advice is the same advice St. Paul gave to Timothy, Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. Be assured, the Gospel of Mark is helpful to you in your ministry as well.

    In His service and yours,

    Pastor Mark R. Rhoads

  • What Does a Pastor Do?

    Here’s an interesting comparison by Rev. Dr. James Baneck of the LCMS that might answer that question. The lambs and sheep our Savior sent Peter to feed and tend were not the wooly kind residing on a beautiful hillside. There are, however, rich parallels between shepherding sheep and shepherding God's people.

    James Rebanks watches over real four-legged sheep in the United Kingdom. He writes about the parallels in his article, “Are You Hard Enough to Survive as a Shepherd?”
    "The romance wears off after a few weeks, believe me, and you will be left standing cold and lonely on a mountain. It is all about endurance. Digging in. Holding on. You will also need to be emotionally. tough … Carrion crows hang over our lambing fields waiting to steal the eyes out of anything sick or dead that cannot resist … You’ll need the patience of a saint, too, because sheep test you to the limit with a million ways to escape, ail, or die … It requires a body of knowledge and skills that shepherds devote decades to learning."

    How this applies to our pastors! There is nothing romantic about being a pastor; it is hard work and often lonely. It demands an endurance that comes only from God. Like carrion crows, Satan seeks to devour God’s people. The pastor stands guard. protecting and feeding God’s sheep with Christ in the preached Word and blessed Sacraments. The formation of men for the Holy Ministry begins at Baptism. And while pastoral formation is intensified during seminary, “it requires a body of knowledge and skills that [pastors] devote decades to learning."

    Pastors are to be clothed with the humility of Christ, “who humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). Pastors must be equipped to lead Gods people to the waters of Holy Baptism, where God gives new birth to sinners and opens the kingdom of heaven for them. Pastors are formed to be stewards of the mysteries of God. Pastors feed God’s sheep the Word of God in preaching and teaching and with the body and blood of our Lord at His table. Pastors listen, love and seek the lost.

    Looking at all that a Pastor does, how is he prepared for this role at the Seminars’? Can you help with this preparation? Could you sponsor a seminarian? Could you help COS in their sponsoring of eight seminary students? Please help with your gift! ‘For more information, contact John W. Smith. God bless your help.