Christ Our Savior will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022. We are planning a special celebration in October of 2022. In addition, there will be events highlighting the anniversary throughout the year.
One of these events is called “Ministry Moments”. We are looking for members who would like to share special thoughts in a one to two minute video or brief newsletter paragraph on topics such as “What Christ Our Savior Means to You”, “A favorite Memory of Ministry at Christ Our Savior”, “Christ Our Savior, Our Hopes for the Future”, etc.
We have a format for submitting your thoughts using a phone/computer APP recording a short video on a cellphone or computer in your own home at your convenience. This will be scheduled during January. If you prefer you can write your thoughts, 150-200 words. Videos and written comments will be completed in January and will be used throughout the year.
Save the Date!! Sunday October 30, 2022, will be a special day in the life of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church as we recognize the 25th Anniversary of our founding. The day will begin with one service at 10.00 a.m. with Pastor Dr. Roger Paavola, Mid-South District President, as guest preacher. After the service we will gather in the CMC Fellowship Hall for a catered family meal.
As we gratefully reflect on the 25 year history of Christ Our Savior throughout the remainder of this year, we are hopeful to share thoughts from both founding members and those who have joined throughout the years.
In this issue, we are happy to share the following from Gary Allison who, along with his wife Linda, are charter members of Christ Our Savior. Thanks for sharing, Gary, as well as having the foresight to help find the wonderful location of our church.
“A short time after moving into the storefront, Bruce Opsahl (then President) and I (V.P.) made an appointment to meet with Mr. Dan Cooper, one of the developers of Tellico Village, to inquire about purchasing land in T.V. We were told in no uncertain terms, there will be no other church than the Community Church in Tellico Village.
Bruce and I went looking for land nearby and found an approximately 16 acre horse farm for sale on Highway 72. We negotiated for the best half of that property, which is surrounded by access to three roads, and is our current location.
What a blessing the Lord led us here, as we at-tracted people from far outside Tellico village and from many other counties. And yes, we are aware of the Baptist Church in the Village, but that occurred after Cooper turned the Village over to the POA.”
Who else is out there with a thought or remembrance to share in future newsletters? Send your memories/thoughts to the church office as a Word document if possible. We are looking forward to more interesting stories regarding the history of our congregation.
History of Our Church
Thanks to Walt and Judy Roessler and Gary and Linda Allison for the following:
1996- A group of people, led by the Holy Spirit sought to plant a new Lutheran Church in East Tennessee.
1997- Christ Our Savior was incorporated, first service was held at Lakeside Plaza storefront, and seven acres purchased on Highway 72 & Wade Rd.
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 church was held on January 7th. On August 26 th our first permanent pastor, Rev. James Kirk was installed.
2003 - Approximately 160 baptized “souls” and growing! Two worship services on Sunday morning
2004 - 217 souls and growing. Building Expansion committee hard at work.
2005 - 247 souls, building expansion underway, still growing, planning for Early Childhood program.
2006-274 souls, completed the Christian Ministry Center, still planning early childhood
program, still growing, reaching and equipping families for Christ in East Tennessee and beyond.
2007 - 300 souls, convertible Vicar Mark Rhoads in July, still growing, unscientific COSLC demographics: 2/3 TV/RB; 1/3 other—of the 1/3 other, roughly ½ “natives” and ½ relocates choosing to live outside TV/RB.
2008 - 323 souls, Vicar Rhoads ordained and installed as Pastor Rhoads on July 6th, Pastor Kirk named Senior Pastor.
2009-336 souls baptized; 312 confirmed. First Harvest Fest
2010- 340 baptized; 315 confirmed, Rev. James Kirk retired June 27th, installed an outdoor electronic sign
2011 - 336 baptized; called Rev. Brian Truog as Senior Pastor and he was installed on April 17,approved a new projection system in the sanctuary.
2012 - 336 souls. Agreed to partner with Mid-South District to call a church planter (Chattanooga, TN)
Linda Allison noted that Walt and Judy Roessler signed the charter of Christ Our Savior while still living in Germany becoming the 99th and 100th members to do so. Talk about a long commute to church. Linda also mentioned that the painting on the wall in the CMC was commissioned by the Roesslers. Linda’s words, “Walt and Judy have been a blessing to COS through all their work in the church and especially as members of the choir.”
Who will be next to share historical moments in our 25 years of ministry?
The Rest of the Story About the Beginning of
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church
The inspiration for Christ our Savior Lutheran Church and the name originated in the mind of Pastor Robert Torgler. I had known Pastor Torgler for nearly 30 years both as my pastor in Maryland and as pastor of a church in North Carolina. He was the one who told me about Tellico Village and encouraged me and my wife to check it out on our trips through Tennessee between our home in Maryland and our winter home in McAllen, TX. In 1992 we visited Tellico Village and bought a lot. At that time the Torglers were having Cooper build their home. The Torglers moved into their new home in 1993 and, after a while, decided that Tellico Village should have a Lutheran Church. There were informal get togethers at Chota Rec Center in 1994 among folks who agreed.
When my wife and I moved into our home in 1995 we were driving with the Torglers to Oak Ridge to attend Faith Lutheran with us alternating driving. About this time, Pastor Torgler had written to the Mid-South district president requesting consideration for issuing us a charter. The response was negative. There was already a Lutheran Church in the county and no need for another, BUT it was an ELCA church. In 1996 we were well enough organized to rent a storefront in the same shopping center where Little Italy is located. Pastor Torgler persisted and, following a visit from district, we were granted a charter in 1997.
Our group was growing, and we organized a church council with five elders. As one of the first elders I was tasked with teaching the first youth confirmation class with two students. They both completed the course and were confirmed. One was a girl who later died and her family left the church; the other is still active and serves various functions in the church; Andrew Lee!
The district decided to give us more aid and sent a Church Planter, Mark Hawkinson, to assist in the process of church organization and growth. He felt his calling was to establish a radio ministry. Pastor Hawkins served for about six months until he took a call to the mid-west. With Pastor Hawkins gone, Pastor Torgler served as pastor without compensation until Pastor Kirk arrived in 2001.
We had become large enough to outgrow the storefront and looked to build a church. A group was formed and soon found a site where the church now stands. With the help of Grace Lutheran we secured a loan to help us contract to build our church. Around this time Linda Allison came to Herb West and I with a photo of an altar, pulpit, and podium. We agreed to construct these items. The items were first built in my workshop since Herb was still having his home built. I selected white oak for its stability and beauty when radially cut. I went to the sawmill and obtained the necessary wood, then took it to Tellico Plains where a kiln was located to dry the wood. The items were completed by both of us and later installed in the new church. The rest of our church came together rapidly. The Christian Ministry Center was built a few years later.