Reformation Lutheran Church is...
Engaged. We are not just the church for ourselves. The people of Reformation are constantly looking for a way to make their community a better place. We empower our members to make a difference in the world and we speak often about the ways that the Gospel calls us to serve the most vulnerable among us.
Passionate. We are people who care deeply about our faith. Our worship gatherings are exuberant and soulful. Our Bible studies are thoughtful and spirited. Our community events are joyful and lively.
Historic. For over 75 years Reformation has been engaged in ministry in the East Mt. Airy neighborhood. We are committed to this community and its people.
Our Mission and Vision
By the grace of God we are disciples of Christ reaching out and welcoming all.
To grow in discipleship and expand our ministry to those we serve.
For a better understanding of our Mission, listen to Pastor Nate’s four-week Sermon series:
Week 1: By God’s Grace 10/7 “By God’s Grace” sermon link
Week 2: We are disciples of Christ 10/14 “We are disciples of Christ” sermon link
Week 3: Reaching Out 10/21 “Reaching Out” sermon link
Week 4: Welcoming All 10/28 “Welcoming All” sermon link
What does this congregation care about?
Our community life is anchored in worship, strengthened by educational and fellowship activities, and expressed through ministries of love within and beyond the congregation. The good news about Jesus is at the center of who we are and what we do. We are striving each day to be a mission-oriented church, looking outside our walls to serve the community and world around us.
What kind of Lutheran church is this?
Reformation Lutheran Church is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran Church body in the United States.
I am ________ will I be welcomed?
Yes. All are welcome at Reformation Lutheran Church. We are progressive congregation that strongly believes God’s grace extends to all people. We are not here to condemn or judge you, rather, we want to grow together as followers of Jesus and we invite anyone to join us on this journey.
What is worship like?
Our worship is a unique blending of the church’s ancient patterns and modern-day Gospel music and praise hymns. We are people who care deeply about our faith and so our worship gatherings are exuberant and soulful. We hope that you'll leave worship feeling inspired, filled, challenged and comforted.
Each week are gathering has extended time for singing, prayer, preaching, and Holy Communion. It's probably not quite like anything you've experienced before, so come and see for yourself!
Can I take communion during worship?
All are welcome to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion. This invitation comes not from Reformation, or the Pastor, but from Jesus Christ himself. As Lutheran Christians we believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in, with, and under the communion elements.
Reformation Lutheran Church was founded in 1942. In December of the previous year, The Lutheran Church sent a pastor, Wilton Ernst, to develop a congregation. He found a family on the 1400 block of Cardeza Street who became charter members and opened their home for the first service. By May of 1942, the congregation was organized. Before the end of the year, a home was purchased on Cliveden Street, which became the temporary church building. The congregation worshiped there until it moved into its new church facility on Vernon Road. In 1958, a second stage of the building, educational unit of three large classrooms, was added to the rear of the church. Pastor Ernst remained at Reformation until 1967. By the early 1960s the congregation had over 700 members. By the time Pastor Ernst left, Reformation was ready to make a transition.
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a rapid racial change in the East Mt Airy neighborhood as thousands of young African American families moved to the community. Reformation was pastored by Victor Pieschl (1966-1971) and Larry Miller (1972-1980). By the end of the 1970’s Reformation was a mixed-race congregation, smaller that it had once been, but active and again rooted in its neighborhood.
Julius Carroll served as pastor from 1981-1983 and William Robertson from 1984-1987. In 1987, Gordon Simmons began his ministry at Reformation. Under his pastorate, the congregation was blessed with significant growth and outreach. Pastor Simmons ended his tenure in February 2006 and was followed by Rev Lamont A. Wells, who served as pastor of Reformation from April 2008-January 2014.
In March of 2018, Rev Nathaniel Preisinger was installed as the 8th pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church. Pastor Nate (as he prefers to be called) served as the Director of Admissions at United Lutheran Seminary before being called to Reformation. Prior to his work at the seminary, Pastor Nate served Parkside Lutheran Church in Buffalo, NY.
Pastor Nate is married to his wife Amanda and together they have 3 children, Evelyn, Solomon, and Miriam. He is committed to leading Reformation to grow; not just in numbers, but also spiritually and in our outreach to the community.
Reformation Lutheran Church is a congregation with a rich and vibrant history and we welcome you to join us as we continue to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and in service to our neighbors. Welcome!