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Synodical Membership      History of Pilgrim      Statement of Faith

Synodical Membership

To carry on world missions, to educate future church workers, and to cooperate in other activities, our congregation has joined with the other 6,000 congregations in the church body known as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod based in St. Louis, Missouri. On the state level, many of these activities are carried on through the Michigan District, LC-MS, headquartered in Ann Arbor.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was formed in 1847, in Chicago, Illinois, when 16 Lutheran congregations, primarily of German heritage, agreed to work together in mission and ministry. The original name of the Synod was the "German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States." The body grew steadily over the next century and a half through immigration from Europe, high birth rates among members, and evangelism, until reaching a peak of nearly 2.9 million members in 1973.

Over the years, the congregations of the Synod have cooperated to establish two seminaries and twelve junior and senior colleges to educate pastors, teachers, and church workers; established mission fields in various parts of the world; and established special needs ministries especially for the blind, deaf, and mentally impaired.

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A Brief History of Pilgrim Lutheran Church

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, originally known as "The Lutheran Mission of Essexville," was founded April 2, 1941, by a joint mission committee of Zion and Immanuel Lutheran Churches of Bay City. The committee was headed by then Zion and Immanuel pastors, the Rev. Herman Mayer and the Rev. Theodore Stiegemeyer, respectively.

The mission's first Sunday School classes met on September 14, 1941 in the brick office building of the old Michigan Sugar Company on First Street and Woodside in Essexville. The first Worship Service was also held there on October 26, 1941 by Candidate Hillis Hall. Services were held there until the end of January 1942 when the temporary quarters were sold and converted into apartments. The mission was officially organized and incorporated as a congregation under the name of Pilgrim Lutheran Church on November 9, 1942.

In May 1942, the mission committee approved purchase of a portable chapel from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Flint, and was dedicated as the young mission's first church home at Pine and Nebobish on October 11, 1942. The frame chapel was used until 1958 when it was replaced by the present contemporary style brick church which was dedicated on August 10, 1958. The classroom and office wing was dedicated on November. 23, 1980.
First resident pastor, the Rev. Donald Dohrman, was ordained and installed on November 29, 1942, and served until January 1946 when he assumed duties as professor of religion at West Lutheran High School in Detroit.

The Rev. John Baumgaertner of Brooklyn, New York was installed on May 26, 1946 and served until his retirement on January 1, 1975. The Rev. Edward Krauss of Mount Pleasant, Michigan was installed on July 13, 1975 and served until 1987 when he accepted a call to the University of Michigan Chapel in Ann Arbor. The Rev. Carl F. Trosien of New Boston, Michigan was installed as the pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church on August 16, 1987 and served until his retirement in July of 2014.

The present membership of Pilgrim is 380 Baptized and 284 Communicant Members.

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Statement of Faith
What We Believe, Teach, And Confess

  • That there is only one true and triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who created the world in six days.
  • That the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, fell into sin by disobeying the command of God.
  • That since the fall into sin, all people are born with original sin and are incapable of pleasing God by their own merits, works, or behavior.
  • That God promised a Savior to Adam and Eve and, through them, to all people.
  • That this Savior is Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who died for the sins of the whole world.
  • That only those who trust in His atoning work will be saved eternally.
  • That those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will not spend eternity in heaven, but eternal condemnation in hell.
  • That we are saved by Godís grace alone, without any merit or worthiness of our own.
  • That we are saved through faith in Christ alone, not by our own efforts, works, or endeavors.
  • That the doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ is the doctrine on which the church stands or falls.
  • That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired, inerrant, infallible, written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice.
  • That the Lutheran Confessions are a true statement and exposition of the Word of God.
  • That all the miraculous accounts recorded in Holy Scripture actually occurred.
  • That Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
  • That Jesus healed the lame, the deaf, and the blind, and raised the dead back to life.
  • That Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried.
  • That Jesus rose from the grave and ascended into heaven.
  • That in, with, and under the bread and wine of Holy Communion, Christ is truly present; we receive His true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins and the assurance of eternal salvation.
  • That the Bible teaches that abortion is not a moral option except as a tragically unavoidable byproduct of medical procedures necessary to prevent the death of another human being.
  • That homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God and therefore intrinsically sinful.
  • That marriage is a divine institution that binds one man and one woman together in a one-flesh union not to be broken until death parts them.
  • That all baptized Christians are members of the priesthood of all believers.
  • That the Scriptures teach that while women are not to hold the pastoral office, they are free to use their God-given gifts in service to the Lord and His Church in other biblically appropriate roles.
  • That fellowship with other church bodies has as its basis complete agreement in doctrine and practice.
  • That Holy Communion, Holy Baptism, and the Word of God are the means through which God conveys to sinful human beings His grace - His undeserved love and forgiveness - and through which the Holy Spirit calls individual to faith in Christ.

This is what we believe, teach, and confess. This is what I believe, teach, and confess!

Yours, in the Savior,

Rev. Carl F. Trosien, Pastor

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