Thanks for checking out Christ Church in Coral Springs. We’re delighted that you are taking a look around. We know it’s not easy to find a new church home. At Christ Church, we want you to feel like you’re part of our family. We strive to connect God’s Word to real life. Here you can feel the love and support of others around you. Here we reach out to people of all ages and offer the opportunity to grow together on our faith journey. Here you will feel the presence of our great God! Take a look around the website. Contact us if you have any questions. Join us next weekend for worship. We’re praying for you. Hope to see you soon!
Staff and Pastor
My name is Lou Forney and I have the privilege of serving as the Lead Pastor at Christ Church here in Coral Springs. Here is a little background on me. I was born in northern Michigan and raised in an Air Force family. Growing up, I went to 11 schools in 12 years and have been in all 50 states. You might guess, I enjoy travel. The National Parks of our beautiful country are among my favorite places. I graduated from Michigan State, got my Masters at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia and my Doctorate from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus. I have served as pastor in Michigan, Omaha and Atlanta before accepting the call to lead a turn-around at Christ Church in Coral Springs in 2014.
I have two grown children, my son Ryan lives in Nebraska and my daughter Jenifer lives in Michigan with my grandson Spencer. In addition to travel, I enjoy wood working, DIY projects and cooking on the grill. I love Christian music from ancient hymns and newly crafted songs of praise and I have about 200 favorite Bible verses.
I am very happy to have the opportunity to work at Christ Church as the Office Manager. I am excited each day to come to work and apply my skills and experience to further the work and Mission of Christ Church. I love working with and most especially helping people. When I first walked on the campus, it felt like home. The warm, loving and mission filled atmosphere is what called me to be a part of the Christ Church Family. My husband Ed and I have made Coral Springs our home for the past 23 years. We have three grown sons who all live and have vibrant careers outside the state of Florida. We share our home with a sweet dog who demands much of our time and energy. Besides having a passion to do what God places before me, I love spending my time with my husband as we work together on the house or in the yard, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We love to take trips to beach, see concerts, and to visit our sons as often as we can.
Sheryl James is our Book Keeper
Idali Medina is our Christ Church Preschool Director
I have worked in the education field for over thirty years and joined Christ Church Preschool as Director in January, 2014. I feel blessed to be part of a Christian preschool as my entire education was attained in Christian schools. I am from New York and my parents are from Puerto Rico. I have a BA in English from the University of Puerto Rico and a M. Ed. in School Administration from the College of New Jersey. I have been married for 31 years to Luis Morales. We have five children, Karina, Kathleen, Luis Javier, Tatiana and Angel Luis.
I moved to Venezuela in 1985 and started working as an English as a Second Language teacher in international schools. I taught ESOL classes to students of over 40 countries. It was an extremely exciting job where I learned that children are all the same regardless of nationality, language or religion. I became a language coordinator, assistant principal and finally principal until I moved to Coral Springs in 2006. In addition to working at the preschool, my passion for teaching and helping others has led me to be an Adjunct professor at two local colleges teaching English Composition and Education classes.
Director of Worship
My name is Anson Onishi and I am very excited to be serving as Director of Worship and Music at Christ Church. I have a heart and passion for worship through music and have been doing music ministry for the past 15 years in both traditional and contemporary settings. I was born and raised in Hawaii, lived in Japan after college, and I love traveling and learning about different cultures. I recently graduated from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, TX with a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance. My musical background spans from opera to traditional Hawaiian music to jazz, really just all over the place! I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for the music ministry at Christ Church and hope you will be a part of it! Contact Anson at email@example.com
Director of Discipleship
Gary has ministered in churches and parachurch ministries for over 4 decades. He has served as Youth Director at 5 churches, Media Specialist in small to mega-size churches in addition to national /international Christian ministries, and continues to teach at local colleges as Adjunct Professor in Communications since 2002.
He earned a Master’s degree in Communications at Wheaton Graduate School and a B.A. in Theology from Columbia International University. His cross-cultural travel includes: Europe, South America, Dominican Republic & the Caribbean Islands.
Gary was born in New York, grew up in Atlanta as a teen and called South Florida his home starting in 1978. His wife, Kathy, is a true native of Florida and together they have held key volunteer leadership roles in churches they have attended and also served as leadership trainers / seminar speakers for over a decade. His wife is in full-time ministry as a remote Director & Church Consultant for a North Carolina ministry organization. They have a large extended family in South Florida and deeply enjoy their 5 young grandchildren, along with their 5 grown children.
Gary was presented to Council from the Selection Team as their candidate of choice. Council interviewed Gary and were impressed by his communication skills, his successes, but also his understanding of our needs. Council unanimously voted to hire Gary. We are deeply grateful to the Hiring Team for their diligent work over 5 months in sorting through 75 resumes for the position: Thanks to Cyndy Klee and Colin Spear for resume review and input. Thanks to Barbara Morris, Petal Archer, Idali Medina, Ryan Miller, and Pastor Lou for the rounds of interviews and conversations. We are most impressed at the overlap of the skills and experience we need – and the skills and experience that Gary brings to the table. Gary can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cyndy Klee (President) email@example.com
Colin Spear (Vice President) firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Curren (Secretary) email@example.com
David Edgren (Treasurer) firstname.lastname@example.org
Melody DeJesus (Financial Secretary) email@example.com
Wayne Archer (Committee Rep) firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Pontious (Committee Rep) email@example.com
Christ Church is anchored is Mission. Mission is a word that describes our understanding that God calls us to reach outside our four walls. To love our neighbor. To care for those in need. To share the Good News of God’s Love. We’ve tried to capture the idea in a brief Mission Statement:
Called to Love and Be Loved,
Know and Be Known,
and Share God’s Love Boldly!
Here at Christ Church we have adopted a Community Covenant that guides how we live together. It helps to guide our behavior and reminds us how to live as Christians. Click here to view a copy of the Community Covenant.
What we Believe
Christ Church is a Lutheran Congregation. Our roots go back to the Reformation of the 16th century. We believe the Bible is how God speaks to us. The main message of the Bible is that God loves all of us – unconditionally. Christians often use the word Grace to describe God’s love. In response to His Grace – God invites us to trust him and calls us to love one another. That’s it in a nutshell. When it comes to specifics – we look to the Bible, to the historic Creeds of the Church, and to the Lutheran Confessions – as faithful statements of our beliefs. When it comes to behaviors – to look to the Community Covenant referenced above, and certain Faith Practices or Marks of Discipleship. We find the acronym PoWeR SuRGe helpful. Disciples …
- Pray Daily – Every good relationship is marked by lots of communication.
- Worship Weekly – disciples worship God regularly
- Read God’s Word – disciples spend time with God in devotions, personal or group study
- Serve Others – disciples use their gifts to serve others in the church & community
- Relationships – disciples build loving accountable relationships with others
- Give Generously – disciples grow toward tithing their income to the Lord
Join the Church
We’re glad that you want to know more about Connecting at Christ Church. We encourage you to take it slow – and attend for a while to be sure it is a good fit for you. Please know you are welcome to attend without joining for as long as you want – but people usually want to make a commitment to connect with the church and joining is a great way to do that. Every few months, we offer a New Member Orientation taught by our Pastor. We spend an evening together talking who we are and why we’re here. After you complete the orientation, you can make a decision about whether you’d like to join. We usually announce the dates of the New Member Orientation a few weeks in advance in the weekend worship bulletin. If you have any specific questions about what we believe, or what it means to join, or how to get involved – please click on the Contact Us link or call the church office at 954.752.6566.
Jesus commands his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). This is not a polite suggestion, it is a command from Jesus for all of us.
Here at Christ Church we understand Baptism as a visible Word of Welcome from God and the Church. Baptism – at any age – is the formal beginning point of our relationship with God as Christians. It is a clear picture of God’s grace as God welcomes us into his family
Baptism is a public event for the Body of Christ to celebrate. As such, Baptisms are normally conducted as a part of regular weekend worship services. We encourage family, friends, and the whole Body of Christ to take part.
Adults attending worship on a regular basis who wish to be baptized should plan to attend the New Member Orientation and talk with the pastor about baptism.
Church members who desire to have their children baptized should contact the church office and request a Baptism Brochure. In Baptism, parents make promises to raise their children in the faith and bring them to the services of God’s House – so it is a natural assumption that Parents will be regular participants in worship.
Baptized Christians of all ages are welcome at the Lord’s Table for the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Christ invites all of us to receive the gifts of bread and wine – the body and blood of Christ. Periodically, we offer classes for parents and children of all ages and provide resources for families, to help them share God’s Love and Grace with their children as we receive communion. If you or your child want to receive Holy Communion, please have a conversation with the Pastor.
For parents of 7th and 8th graders, we invite you and your students to engage in a Faith Formation process where students actively engage in the life of the church and Affirm their Baptism. There is more information in the Discipleship section of the website.
How to Get Married
Active Members of Christ Church who wish to get married here should contact the Church Office to request a Wedding Packet at least six months in advance of the desired wedding date. The packet shares all the needed information to plan your wedding ceremony. It is expected that the couple actively participate in the life of the church as they prepare for marriage. Be sure to contact the church office before any wedding date is confirmed, so we can be sure both the church and the pastor are available on the desired date.
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Christ Church, A Lutheran Congregation, begun as Lutheran Ministry 453 in Coral Springs, Florida, was a mission church of The American Lutheran Church, which merged with other Lutheran denominations in 1988 to become The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Pastor Jerry Straszheim accepted the call to be Mission Developer in 1971 and gathered a few Lutheran families in homes, restaurants, and the Westinghouse Home Center in Coral Springs for early services. In 1973, a worship center was built with a loan from the ALC’s Church Extensions Fund; eventually, the loan, refinanced externally, assisted the development of more Lutheran congregations. By 1976, the quickly expanding congregation had an active outreach. LMIC was an integral part of the growing community, sponsoring and coaching youth athletic programs of soccer and baseball. Participation in the Cursillo Movement enhanced the spiritual life of the congregation. The creation of The Early Childhood Enrichment Center became an educational-spiritual outreach as one of the first church sponsored expanded day care programs in the city. Early Childhood Ministries is now a VPK provider and well known and respected preschool in the community of Coral Springs. For more than 40 years, the church has sponsored or participated in programs of service: assisting worship facilities of migrants in Belle Glade and a Spanish-speaking ministry on the Coral Springs campus, participating in a Broward homeless feeding program and supporting global programs through both ALC and ELCA. Other church programs include inviting choruses, developing “Compassion Weekends,” service activities that involved building, painting and serving special needs of the community and globally. The youth of the congregation, besides confirmation activities, summer camping at Luther Rock and other Lutheran sites, participate in national youth gatherings in Texas, New Orleans, and Detroit. Upon the retirement of the church’s second pastor in 2013, Pastor Robb Grimm, the congregation entered a period of discernment and reflection. In 2014, the congregation called its third pastor, The Reverend Dr. Louis Forney. After more than six months of active engagement in the Healthy Congregations series of Synod workshops and other leadership activities retreats, on March 1, 2015, Lutheran Ministry in Christ became Christ Church, A Lutheran Congregation. It is a church Called to Love and Be Loved, Know and Be Known, and to Share God’s Love Boldly.