Holy Faith Lutheran Church had its beginning in 1960 as a mission congregation. The Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

commissioned the Reverend Robert Eicher to develop a new Lutheran congregation in West Milford, New Jersey. This new congregation, worshiping for its first time on February 12, 1961, held services for five years in the gymnasium of Paradise Knoll Elementary School.

The parsonage was purchased in 1961. The next few years were a time of rapid growth with membership rising to 119 by 1962. Reverend Eicher was formally installed as the first pastor of Holy Faith on September 23, 1962.

In 1963 ten acres of land were purchased across the street from Paradise Knoll School, upon which the present church building now rests. Ground Breaking for the church took place on April 7, 1965, with construction soon to follow. Almost two years later, on January 15, 1967, the sanctuary was dedicated.

The winds of change came in 1973 when Reverend John ("Jack") Beaudean became the second pastor of Holy Faith. Many outreach programs were started beginning with the forming of the Evangelism Committee in 1975. Meals Ministry delivered its first meal in 1978 and continues to the present day. The Food Pantry, in conjunction with Newfoundland United Methodist and Oak Ridge Presbyterian Churches, was begun in 1979. Operated out of Holy Faith, the Food Pantry continues to provide food for needy families in our area.

Through the years: The Sunday School was formed; an Outdoor Chapel in the woods behind the church building was constructed; the Gloria Dei Guild chapter of the LWML was formed; a Youth Group was begun; Choirs were formed.

Pastor Beaudean resigned from the office of the ministry at Holy Faith due to ALS in 1993. He was welcomed into heaven on August 17 of that same year. One of Pastor Beaudean's students, Reverend Robert Clancy, served as our interim pastor as the call process was worked through. On August 28, 1994, Holy Faith installed its third pastor, Reverend Craig Lutz.

In our 39th year, we initiated a major new service for the Lord and our community. After extensive building modifications and with the unfailing support of the entire congregation, Paradise Preschool opened its doors on September 8, 1997. After seven years, the preschool continues to be a thriving outreach into our community offering quality learning with a Christian Curriculum.

Holy Faith's rich history continues now as we celebrate 45 years. It is the ongoing, joyful mission of dedicated servants working for the Lord, setting lives afire with the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. In joyful anticipation we look to the future and what God Himself is doing.

 

The Pastor's Part

Pastor Craig E. Lutz

since August 28, 1994

All You Need Is Love

So the Beatle's song voices a foundational truth for our lives!  All we need is love!  Yet the love we need is so different from the emotional, on-again, off-again love our world presents.  Tune your ears from the world's song to the music of God'sWord:  "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God...  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."  1 John 4:7ff.  That's the love we need!

All we need is love!  God's unconditional, unchanging love for you and me.  His love moves from word to action!  It's because of love that God sent His Son.  Even though we have "mucked it up" with the wrongs we do, God loves us so much that His Son comes to endure the anger, punishment and separation we deserve.  He didn't have to take our place.  He chose to; not the nails but His love held Him to the cross.  Before He died on the cross, Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13  Just look to the cross to see your BFF!  That's the kind of love we need!

That's the love we need for our families and relationships.  With God's love in Jesus as part of our lives, our love moves to action.  Not because of who the recipient is or what they've done, we are called to love each other unconditionally.  That's the kind of love our families and friends need!

So celebrate God's unconditional love in Jesus at Holy Faith or the Christian church nearest you!  Go to be filled with love!  But then let it overflow into the lives of those around you.  It's exactly what your family, friends and even that stranger in the check-out line needs! Share Jesus because all we need is love!