We value the importance of gathering together to worship, pray for one another, and celebrate God’s presence in our lives.
Who We Are
Trinity Lutheran Church is located in Summerfield (Marion County), FL. We are affiliated with The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), and are incorporated in the State of Florida, as a not for profit organization.
We are a unique church in the fact that almost all of our members are retired and live in age 55+ communities. We now have close to 1,000 members.
This year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our first worship service. Our growth during those 20 years has been strongly influenced by the overall growth of the total population of this area, most of it due to the rapid growth of The Villages.
This community, mostly located in Sumter County, now has a population of around 110,000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sumter County has the highest rate of growth of any county in the United States. Over half of our members live in The Villages, while some live in 55+ communities in Lake or Marion County.
Our membership is heavily influenced by persons who have moved here from all parts of the country to live in retirement. Many of these were members of LCMS congregations in their previous homes and were looking to join an LCMS church.
We have an active outreach program and many of our new members joined because they were invited by one of our members. This gives us an exciting balance of long term dedicated Lutherans as well as persons who have either been “unchurched” or come from other religious affiliations.
All of humankind is born into sin, since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a result, all people have a sense of estrangement from the creator, and a compulsion to do something to overcome that reality.
This is what the practice of religion has been about since the beginning of time, from the cathedrals of Rome to the remotest secluded village in an underdeveloped country, people innately know they need to do something to please and appease a higher being.
Christianity is the only religion of the world to insist that reconciliation with the creator cannot ever be accomplished by our performance. Only through the revelation of a Savior, who would be the substitute sacrifice for all of our wrongdoing and make us right with God, can we finally overcome our sense of separation from the Almighty.
Only through Jesus Christ can we confidently know God, our heavenly Father and be assured of the promise of life eternal. This is a gift and promise of life that we rejoice in and share with Christians around the world.
We share with all Christians the desire that everyone would come to know Jesus and experience a life under “new management” - the grace and purpose of God.
The mission of Trinity Lutheran Church is to share the good news of Jesus Christ by serving the spiritual, social, family, and personal needs of the community. We believe that the primary reason for our existence is to bring people closer to Jesus Christ by providing worship, Bible studies, prayer, and fellowship to foster spiritual growth.
Three times a year during November, March and July, we have a New Member Sunday celebration, with a dinner in the fellowship hall, following the worship service honoring our newest members.
If you wish to join Trinity, your first step will be to call Sara at the church office (352-307-4500) and she will guide you through a couple of simple steps. Folks who have previously held membership in any Lutheran Church join by “profession of faith.”
If your membership is currently in another Lutheran Church, you would join by transfer of membership. Just contact your previous church to request a transfer or ask Jill to accomplish this for you.
If you plan to join Trinity and have never been a Lutheran Christian before, you would join by “adult confirmation.” This entails your participation in a five-week Lutheran beliefs class on Sunday mornings or completing an at-home program of self-study on your own and then scheduling a consultation with Pastor Dan.
You choose whichever preparation fits your schedule and upon completion, you would be received into membership at the next scheduled New Member Sunday.
Pastor Dan Kelm and his wife, Rachel, were born and raised in WI. Rachel is a graduate of Carroll College. Pastor Dan graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1981.
Pastor Dan established a new mission church, Divine Savior, Indianapolis and served there from 1981-93. From 1993-94, he served as a missionary and helped establish a Lutheran church in Bulgaria.
Pastor Dan made the decision to move to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LC-MS). He has since served at St. John's in West Bend, WI (9 years), Salem in Orange, CA (7 years) and most recently at St. John's in Portage, WI. Dan and Rachel love movies, music, reading and the Green Bay Packers (13 NFL titles).
Blair Clark, Associate Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church
Pastor Blair Clark serves as the Associate Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in the areas of nurture and Christian discipleship where he has a passion for reaching out to the community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Small Group Ministry, Christian education, and member care. He completed his Master of Divinity degree as a 1987 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, after completing his undergraduate studies at St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas, and Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he received his B.A. Degree in Sociology and Biblical Languages.
Trained as a leadership Coach for Pastors and congregations partnering with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s revitalization process through the Transforming Churches Network (TCN), Pastor Blair successfully guided his previous congregation through that process and employs those gifts as a member of our Trinity Staff. He also continues to serve as a faculty member of the American Public University Systems of Charles Town, West Virginia, as an online Instructor of Religion.
Pastor Blair, originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, is married to Kimberley (Kovac) and they have been blessed with three grown children. In his spare time you can find Pastor Blair enjoying his family, working on home projects, golfing, swimming, playing softball, water volleyball, and relaxing in his favorite vacation destination in Destin, Florida.
Jill D. Esposito, Business Manager
Jill D. Esposito was hired in November of 2002 as Trinity’s part-time Church Secretary shortly after moving to FL from upstate NY. As Trinity grew, she was offered a full-time Administration Assistant position.
In 2014, Jill was promoted as Trinity’s Business Manager. She graduated in 2015 with an AA degree in Business Administration and is currently continuing her education at the College of Central Florida in pursuit of her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Organizational Management.
Jill has two beautiful daughters and three amazing grandchildren. On April 18, 2016, she married her best friend, Francesco Esposito. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to school, and working out at the local gym.
Dennis Crowley, Director of Music/Organist
Our new Director of Music/Organist, Dennis Crowley, was born in Brooklyn, NY where he lived until attending college at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. He became certified in multiple subjects and began teaching high school shortly after graduation. He began piano lessons when he was five years old, organ when he began college, and has been playing ever since. Although classically trained, he is open to and well versed in a variety of musical styles that he plans to introduce at Trinity to enhance the musical experience in our church community. He has served as director/organist for many years in several denominations, but most recently at Family of Christ Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Tampa Palms, FL just south of Wesley Chapel. He will be looking for more members to join the choral and handbell choirs so they will be able to work on more challenging music to support the worship service and encourage full participation by all members.
Sara Stumbaugh, Administrative Assistant
She currently lives in Lady Lake with her wonderful husband, Jason, who is employed by Publix. They “Tide” the knot on St. Pete beach on November 7, 2015. Sara has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where she graudated in 2002. She enjoys trips to the beach, seeing her two nieces, Chloie & Tori and attending concerts. If you have any submissions for the monthly Tidings newsletter or the weekly bulletins, please give her a call, email her at email@example.com or stop by. She would love to visit with you!
The President will preside at all meetings of the Voters Assembly and the Church Council. He will make temporary appointment to all committees and Boards for ratification of the Church Council and sign contracts and legal documents as required by the terms of our Articles of Incorporation.
Vice President, Bill Myers
The Vice President will perform all duties of the President when the President is absent or unable to serve, perform such duties as may be delegated by the President.
Recording Secretary, Pam Bixler
The Recording Secretary will record the proceedings of all meetings of the Voters Assembly and the Church Council and maintain a historical file of such minutes, serve as official correspondent of the Church Council, and maintain attendance records for the meetings. The Recording Secretary will attest to official documents of the Church Council and Voters Assembly and execute legal documents as required.
Financial Secretary, Gary Eckoff
The Financial Secretary will maintain a record of all contributions received by type of contribution and provide periodic financial statements to all giving units of the congregation; supervise the counting and balancing of weekly contributions; and provide for the safekeeping and deposit of these funds in the appropriate banking institution.
Treasurer, Gary Eckoff
The treasurer is responsible for the entire financial system at Trinity. Included are banking relationships, maintaining an accurate general ledger, the preparation of monthly statements, and preparation of reports to the church council.
Other responsibilities include preparing semi-monthly payroll and all related reports, preparing and sign all vendor checks, and preparing annual budgets. The treasurer also serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee, serves on the Long Range Planning Committee, and the Endowment Committee.
The Trinity Board of Elders has 12 members. Elders are responsible for the spiritual welfare of the Pastors and Members. They assist pastors with baptism, communion, shut-ins and hospital visitations, weddings and funerals.
Elders also supervise everything pertaining to church doctrines and congregational worship including ushers, lectors, altar guild, and music.
Stewardship = Life. It's how we live and it's everything we are and do!
Psalm 24:1: The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord;
Vision: Our Stewardship program is based on each of us managing our time, talent, and treasures in gratitude for how God has blessed us in our lives, and for His gift of eternal life through His son Jesus.
Practice: We believe that everything we think, say, and do is stewardship. It’s our reaction to all the blessings God has given to us. We also believe as the scripture teaches, that we should thoughtfully consider how we can devote the first and best of our time, talent, and treasure for God's use.
Theme: Stewardship is an attitude of gratitude! Count your blessings daily!
Care and Concern. Two words that describe the mission of the Outreach Board, along with the command from God to share the knowledge of His love and grace.
Grace is imparted only by God and yet we can and do try to facilitate that connection in many different ways, first by initiating contact with those outside of our congregation and showing Trinity Lutheran as the welcoming congregation that it is.
We are charged with utilizing all means available to assist in spreading the word of the Gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20.)
Those means include publicity/advertising in media and with direct mail contact; greeters at the services, the welcome center, visitor packets, contact by phone or in person and the website all fall under the responsibility of the Outreach Board. Educational efforts like Mission U. train us and the congregation on the best methods for our role in spreading the message of salvation.
The Trustee board is a collection of men and women that would like to help keep the church, fellowship hall, and the grounds in tip top shape. We do repairs by using our God-given talents we've gain over our life span.
We meet once a month to discuss problems that came up since the last meeting and plan ways and times to fix the problem.
The board of Women's Ministry establishes spiritually up lifting ministries that are specific to women's needs. These ministries range from serious to "too much fun"! Pick the ministry or ministries you would like from Bible study, to sewing, to dinner out with other Christians! There is something for all women.
To implement, support and assist in the programs and activities that help and nurture not only our Congregation, our community but all who believe in Jesus Christ. Our activities serve, relate and give of our Time and Talents to all who are in need.
The Board of Human Care consists of the following Ministries:
Tel A Care
Sanctity of Life
Missions/Seniors Offering Services
Family Care Coordinator
Get Healthy for "CHRIST"
The Board of Human Care also includes Trinity Volunteer Responders, monthly Blood Pressure checks and the Care Notes.
The definition of "fellowship" is a union of friends sharing like interests. At Trinity, the Board of Fellowship firmly believes this and we also believe it is our ministry to provide avenues for this to take place.
We oversee the kitchen facilities, are in charge of various meals at Trinity, new member potlucks, new member orientations, advent and lent soup and sandwich suppers, an ice cream social, and other events.
The Board of Fellowship supports the other boards at Trinity and assists them with their events involving food.
The Board of Fellowship believes that we need to be in a relationship with people at Trinity. We talk with people at the events and assist them in any way we can. We believe we are all here to worship God and make everyone welcome at Trinity Lutheran Church.
The Board of Education is responsible for the Christian education of the Trinity congregation. This includes developing and aiding in the implementation of education programs (especially Bible studies).
We maintain and encourage the use of a church library. We provide inexpensive, appropriate books and devotionals for members to use. We oversee the Sunday School programs and next year we hope to host a Vacation Bible School.
These documents, as well as our Contacts listing, are being made available for our members as a convenience. However, as everyone is entitled to their privacy, please do not share these documents or our listing with non-members or use them for solicitation in any way.
Share the good news of the Lord and strengthen your faith. Call us today at 352-307-4500.