Assemblies of God









Lincoln Christian Church 
         204 N. McLean

     Preaching Minister:
          Tom Gerdts

         Service Times:
  8:30 am and 11:00 am

Church of Christ


Church of God



Trinity Episcopal Church
402 Pekin St., Lincoln
Pastor:  James Cravens

 7:30 & 9:45AM Sunday
 9:00AM Tuesday-Friday

Jehovah's  Witnesses



Immanuel Lutheran Church  ELCA
1409 Pulaski St., Lincoln
Pastor Joe Bleakley
 9:00AM Sunday

Zion Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
205 Pulaski St., Lincoln
Pastor Mark Carnahan
Pastor Kirk Cunningham
 8:00 & 10:30AM Sunday
 7:00PM Wednesday

United Methodist

First United Methodist Church
302 Broadway St.,  Lincoln
Pastor:  Larry Maffett
Sept-May:  8:30 & 10AM 
Web site:









United Church of Christ


To inquire about listing your congregation's worship information, please e-mail us at or call us at 217-732-7443.


A strong foundation in history with a vision
for the future

A portrait of Zion Lutheran Church

[AUG. 19, 2000]  The members and leaders of Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln are strongly united in their dedication to the history of their church and its theological traditions but are not content to live in the past. During my recent visit, many members of the congregation expressed their desire to use their rich heritage as a springboard for evangelism and outreach into the community. As the mission statement of the congregation puts it, their goal is to "Share Christ's love with every generation," and it is clear they are seeking to do that in several ways.



I worshipped and studied at Zion Lutheran on Sunday, Aug. 6, and met many congregants who were very firm in their Christian faith and Lutheran heritage. As Dave Opperman expressed it during Sunday School, "I believe the whole Bible is preached here. There are few churches left that preach exactly what the Bible teaches and don't distort its message." Mark Hunsley, the teacher of the class which studies the Scripture used in morning liturgy, noted the historical grounding of Zion's teaching and preaching when he said that the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, of which Zion is a member congregation, "preaches salvation through faith in Jesus Christ," and is dedicated to maintaining that message.

The phrase "Sola Fides" which means "through faith alone," was both the theological battle cry and the bulwark upon which Martin Luther, the German monk and professor, built the Reformation church which is his namesake. This phrase means that God saves a sinner only through faith in Jesus Christ and not through human effort or works. In early 16th century Germany, and all across Europe, Luther and many others joined in a critique of the Roman Catholic Church and an eventual break with that body, that resulted in the Protestant Reformation. These protesters and reformers sought to remove the moral and political corruptions that had become common in the Roman church. Luther taught the importance of individual responsibility and relationship with God through Christ, the centrality of Scripture in the life and faith of the believer, and a practical piety stripped of non-Biblical additions.

Zion Lutheran is a living witness to a long, proud denominational heritage. Lutherans from western and northern Europe have been part of the American religious landscape since the nation's founding. According to Senior Pastor Mark Carnahan, Lutheranism "has had many splits and many mergers," and thus today there are several distinct, though closely related, strands of belief and practice in the United States. Zion Lutheran is part of the fellowship known as the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, that has its roots in the conservative German Lutheran churches of the Midwest. Missouri Synod churches hold tightly to their profession and confession as found in the Book of Concord. This "concord," or unity, rests on the historic creedal statements of the universal church, Luther's Small and Large Catechism, the Augsburg Confession and the Bible, according to Rev. Carnahan. (The name "Concordia" affixed to many Lutheran facilities and schools is a reference to and a reminder of their concord on doctrine and faith.)

Rev. William Adam, a retired pastor and missionary who serves Zion as assistant for visitation, noted that Missouri Synod Lutherans don't "dilly dally" about doctrine or social issues, noting for example, their strong stand against abortion. He said, "We are known to stick to our guns theologically," even when other churches are accommodating secular culture. He said the Missouri Synod takes the first 11 chapters of Genesis "to be fact, not myth," and has taken a strong stand for the inerrancy of Scripture. According to Rev. Carnahan, while many church bodies expend much time and energy debating such issues as abortion or homosexuality, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod believes the Bible has already spoken clearly on these issues. He says that the church should expend its energies helping the person struggling with these challenges, but the issues themselves are not open for theological debate.


Zion Lutheran has a long history in Logan County, Illinois. In the 1850s Lutheran and Reformed Christians worshipped together, but by the 1870s the Lutherans desired their own congregation and pastor. The present congregation was formally organized in 1871 and originally met in the Postville schoolhouse. In 1872 the church acquired property at their present location on the corner of Pulaski and Kankakee streets. In 1876 the congregation became affiliated with the Missouri Synod. Their present sanctuary was dedicated in 1904; the same year worship services in English were presented along with the traditional German. The transition to a wholly English liturgy took place in 1940.

From its earliest years, Zion Lutheran has had a strong commitment to church-sponsored schools and education. The first parochial school teacher was called in 1892, and Zion Lutheran School continues as an institution committed to Christian education to this day. This fall there will be approximately 200 students enrolled in pre-school through eighth grade. Several members and leaders noted the import and the impact of Zion School not only for the church but also for the community. Almost 60 percent of the students are non-Lutherans, so the school is an important point of contact and outreach to many families in the community. Steve Schumacher, a sixth grade teacher and athletic director at the school, noted that the school and its personnel "reach many non-Lutheran families through the school." He noted that many families with children in Zion School have become affiliated with Zion Church.

The direction and future of Zion Lutheran are shaped by dedicated members and pastors. Several members noted the importance of the fellowship and loving concern they experience at Zion. Doug Sheley told me, "I have been here (at Zion) my whole life. We have a church family here, and love permeates this church." Dave Opperman described a "Christian presence in purity" that marks the Zion church.

The pastoral staff at Zion is highly regarded by the members of the congregation. Head Pastor Mark Carnahan was installed as 10th pastor of the congregation in 1991. A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Carnahan began his pilgrimage toward the ministry in seventh grade catechism class with his pastor. He graduated with a degree in education from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Ill., and then received his master of divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. He served congregations in Stewardson, Ill., and Ireton, Iowa, before his call to Lincoln. Pastor Carnahan is joined in ministry by Assistant Pastor Kirk Cunningham, who was called to Zion two years ago to work with youth ministry and evangelism. Cunningham is son of a pastor and is originally from Decatur. He studied at Concordia College in St. Paul, Minn., and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. As noted earlier, Rev. William Adam serves the congregation in his retirement through his ministry of visitation.


When asked to characterize the mission and vision of the church, Pastor Carnahan pointed to the congregation's mission statement, "To share Christ's love with every generation." The church has recently studied the changing demographics and environment of Logan County and "must find ways for a traditional church to meet modern needs," he said. He noted particular concern for ministry to families and to the aging. He believes that if the congregation will "remain true to Scripture," many will be drawn to its message and ministry. The congregation must "branch out with the gospel" and seek ways to meet the needs of their neighbors and community. He believes that the liturgical worship at Zion is a strong foundation for evangelism and is an advantage in reaching the unchurched. For "as the church worships, so the church believes," and can then share the message of salvation in Jesus Christ, he said.

In addition to broadening its evangelism and outreach to the community, Zion is planning to supplement and remodel some of its buildings to facilitate its ministries. Future plans might include a translucent roof covering the courtyard between the sanctuary and educational building. There is also discussion of improvements for the fellowship hall, providing modern nursery facilities and elevator service for greater access for the aged and disabled. The church is also considering expansion of classroom space on both the church campus and the school campus.

As evidence of the vitality of the congregation, Carnahan noted that he has more congregants willing to teach Bible classes than present space allows. This seems to be a pleasing problem for a church body that has so highly valued both Biblical study and education through the centuries. As Rev. Carnahan put it, "God himself is pleased when the 'sheep of his pasture' gather to hear the Good Shepherd's voice." 

[John Welter]


Jolly Seniors announce August program

The Jolly Seniors group from Lincoln Christian Church invites those 55-plus to attend our monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. at the church Fellowship Center, 205 N. Hamilton St. You will experience a warm fellowship with people who care for one another, an enjoyable time filled with great food, fun, interesting programs and a spiritual lift to encourage you in your life. This month's program will feature the musical Gates Family from Bloomington. They will be performing Southern Baptist Gospel music. Gary Hall, professor of Old Testament at Lincoln Christian Seminary, will lead our devotion.

We will also enjoy a meal prepared by Roy and Edith Slack. Suggested cost for the meal is $4.

For free transportation, please contact the church office at 732-7618.


Pentecostal church will have revival services

[AUG. 17, 2000]  The United Pentecostal Church of Lincoln, 1422 Pekin St., is having a revival. Revival services are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20, through Wednesday, Aug. 23, with services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday and at 7 p.m. the following days. The Rev. Jackie Lewis from southeast Missouri will be preaching. For more information or a ride, call 732-4662.




Revival services to be this weekend

[AUG. 16, 2000]  Evangelist George McGregor from South Africa, one of the McGregor Brothers Minister Team, who have ministered at the ongoing revival at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla., will be leading special revival services this weekend at Full Gospel Evangelistic Center, 426 N. Monroe St. in Lincoln. The services will be Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

For more information, go to



Trinity Episcopal Church presents scholarship
[AUG. 12, 2000]  The Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church presented Beth Bryant with a Scholarship to Life. Beth, a graduating senior, has been a very active member in the life of the church, being involved in church school, as an acolyte, in Breakfast Club, musical programs for the holidays, summer church camp, chairing Crop Walk, and in the pews at worship with her parish family. It is for this faithfulness to her church and God that she has received this gift. To Beth we are truly grateful, and wish her the very best as she starts college this fall. We have truly been blessed to have such a fine young woman in our midst.  


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