Messiah Lutheran Church -- Charlotte, NC
menut title
Prayer Center
Pastor's Message
Family Life Ministry
Getting Involved
Music Ministry


8300 Providence Rd. just south of the Arboretum and Hwy 51 (Pineville-Matthews Rd).  Map.

August 2016 Message PDF Print E-mail

Messiah’s Vacancy Continues with Ample Pastoral Assistance

by Pastor Ron Wiese


When Pastor George Lippitt declined the Call to become Senior Pastor at Messiah, my service as Messiah’s Vacancy Pastor became dramatically extended. I committed myself to serve as Messiah’s Vacancy Pastor until a new Senior Pastor is installed, and I intend to fulfill that commitment.

But serving as Vacancy Pastor at Messiah is much easier than at many other congregations, because Messiah is blessed with so many pastors. Several of the retired LCMS pastors are already assisting me on a regular basis in the preaching rotation at Messiah. They are Pastor Allen Trapp and Pastor Paul Griebel. Pastor Allen and his wife Joanne spent most of their ministry in Ohio, while Pastor Griebel and his wife Cindy were in Indiana for over thirty years. Like my wife and I, they all moved to the Charlotte area to be close to their children and grandchildren. They are taking turns with some of the preaching for the worship services on the third and fourth Sundays of each month.

Two other men who were involved with the preaching for the REACH Services are continuing to assist me on a regular basis. Pastor Matt Harner and his wife Amanda have been an active part of Messiah congregation for a number of years. Chaplain Billy Mauldin’s family has been part of Messiah for many years. His full-time ministry is with Motor Racing Outreach, where he coordinates the ministry of dozens of chaplains who serve at the many NASCAR races that are held around the country.  I deeply appreciate the continued assistance of these men.

Another retired LCMS pastor who has already pitched in to help is Pastor Bill Olson. He was a military chaplain for many years, and ended up in Charlotte as Associate Pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church. He and his wife Jean have been members of Messiah for several years. He served as a Bible class leader on Wednesday nights the first part of this year.

Pastor Bob Torgler was Messiah’s first full-time pastor. He and his wife Jennie returned to Charlotte nine years ago after helping to plant a new congregation in east Tennessee. Pastor Bill Duey and his wife Mary Ann joined Messiah earlier this year, but he has been kept busy serving as the Vacancy Pastor of Lake Wylie Lutheran Church until they obtained a new pastor.   

And of course, last but not least, is Pastor Tim Baldinger, who officially retired as Messiah’s Senior Pastor the end of May after twenty-five years of service at Messiah. He and his wife Sue are enjoying his new status as a “Retired Pastor.” But he also is still keeping busy this summer serving Lake Norman Lutheran Church in Denver while their pastor is on a sabbatical. 

That makes a total of seven retired pastors at Messiah, plus two others who are aiding me in the REACH Services. As you can tell, we are blessed with a large group of pastors, many of them with well over 40 years of experience, and all of whom are totally supportive of Messiah’s ministry. And I for one am so glad that we have their assistance during this time to transition.



right title



Sample ImagePastor Steve was born and raised in Oregon. After graduating from Willamette University with degrees in German and International Studies, he worked in various vocations that taught him how to work in teams with diverse people.  As a project manager in the computer tech industry in the 90’s, he began to feel God’s call to become a pastor. In 2003, he took a huge leap of faith, selling his business and two homes to drive to Saint Louis for the first time and begin Seminary training.



Proverb of the Day