The History of Living Water Lutheran Church
Early in 1995, several people had embarked on lengthy discussions about the possibility of establishing an ELCA Lutheran Church on Kent Island. After lots of prayers and many phone calls a meeting was scheduled. On a chilly morning back in March of 1996, a meeting was held in Bob and Linda Friday’s kitchen. Those joining Bob and Linda that morning were Ida Smith, Bertha Giles and Rev. Dr. Jerrett Hansen from the Maryland/Delaware Synod. That meeting would be the start of Living Water Lutheran Church or as it was known in the beginning Kent Island Lutheran Church.
Dr. Hansen provided some facts and figures as to what would be needed to get a mission church up and running but unfortunately that was about all he would be able to do at that point. A new congregation on Kent Island wasn’t in the plan. There had been some interest several years prior, but the demographics really didn’t support the Synod investing time, energy, and dollars in this marketplace. Outside of that, there were a few additional ‘minor’ things that would be needed, such as a place to worship, pastoral leadership and a congregation. This founding group of people were prayerful that they could find the people and confident that they could arrange some type of pastoral support, but where would they meet? There really wasn’t any place they were aware of at that time. They were left with Dr. Hansen’s list of ‘things to do’ and a burning desire to get moving. But, never to lose faith, God’s guidance in this venture would soon be evident.
The very next day, Linda Friday was visited by an associate who was a member of the vestry at Christ Church. He came into her office to discuss a variety of things, but before he left he asked if she knew of anyone who would be interested in renting the Historic Christ Church building in Stevensville. The congregation had relocated the year before, and the building had been sitting vacant all that time. The vestry had just recently decided to try to rent it out. BLESSING NUMBER ONE!
The group immediately began looking for ways to get things going. They had a prospective worship location so all they needed now was a minister, a musician and a congregation. Not too much to take on!
Bob had called on a pastor from the Easton ELCA church who was excited about his church having an active role in helping them get started. In addition, many pastors lent their support to Kent Island Lutheran Church (KILC). Pastor David Asplin, Pastor Beth Platz, Pastor Barbara Hanst, Pastor Ed Schultz, then seminary student Dan Krewson and finally Pastor Tom Miller. BLESSING NUMBER 2!
Ida had taken on the responsibility of providing the music for the service and would soon be led to find Nicola Patterson who would be Kent Island Lutheran Church’s first organist/pianist. BLESSING NUMBER 3!
Over the next few months blessings would continue to fall on this small group of dedicated worshippers and before they knew it, the doors were opened. The first official worship service was held on December 8, 1996. The first day of worship was attended by almost 80 people. BLESSING NUMBER 4!
There have been many, many blessings since that very first Sunday morning. In five years this group has gone from a Synodically Authorized Worship Community to a Mission congregation to now, finally a fully recognized chartered church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
GOD has been with us from the beginning and will continue to be with us for all the years to come.
As long as we put God first, He will never fail us!