Faith Lutheran Church at 705 Leeland Heights Blvd. has a new pastor and he delivered his first sermon this past Sunday morning.
Rev. Tom Collinge, 47, has been a chaplain, and says this is his first mission as a full-time pastor for the church which has been with a full-time pastor for a few years. He was very excited to be at the church with such wonderful people and he had been looking forward to his first sermon and was working on his sermon last week in his office.
Faith Lutheran has been an active Christian community of service and ministry for more than 50 years and its outreach includes a pre-school program, music, bread ministry, weekly worship, and serving those who are in need. Those were the words of a former pastor, Walter Fohs, an interim pastor.
Rev. Tom Collinge
Single, Pastor Collinge grew up in Michigan and said he served in the U.S. military at the time of the First Gulf War. He served as an electrician for the Navy.
Collinge said as the church has had no full-time minister for five years; however, ministers have preached and led the congregation.
There is a special process that a minister must go through before he or she is selected to serve at the church. He eventually met with the church council, he said, and was asked to become their minister.
Pastor Tom as he will likely be called at the church said he was called by God to undertake the preaching the word of God.
From Port Huron, Michigan, he studied at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.
"God was calling me. I was doing my best by saying 'no, no, no' but after a while God won over and I accepted his call," Collinge said.
He said he hoped to use in his message that God is always with a person even though someone doesn't recognize that fact.
"That binds us together than separates us. God's love for us is always there, even if you believe it may be only a small percent, it is there and always will be," he said.
"Since I have moved to Lehigh, I have come to really love it here," Collinge said. "Before where I was you had to get in the car and drive some distance to get to the stores, the grocery markets, etc. Here where I life, I can walk to the supermarket and other places."
"I believe in dreaming goals and I want to use the Gospel and God's word to minister to the people here. I think we will have a great relationship."