Christ the Lord Lutheran Church (CtL), an affiliate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has grown from humble beginnings thanks to the faith, dedication and commitment of its members. Today, it offers a warm, welcoming environment for worship and community.
Our church was originally formed as an extended ministry of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church called Lutheran Mission in the Foothills. The first services were held on January 23, 1983 in the Cave Creek grade school cafeteria. Each week, members contributed their time and materials to create a sanctuary suitable for worship. Ten months later, worshipers met in the Carefree trade center, and then in a storefront located between the Episcopal Church and the local Dairy Queen.
On February 17, 1985, CtL was organized as a congregation of people under Pastor John Podszus. After his resignation in 1988, a call was extended to Pastor Robert A. Hutson, then serving at King of Glory in Tempe. “Pastor Bob” led CtL in the drive to respond to the community’s needs by organizing volunteers and fundraising. The ministry’s efforts led to the creation of the Foothills Food Bank, brought Meals on Wheels to the area, and supported the local chapter for Habitat for Humanity. The Foothills Walk to End Hunger, which still occurs every spring, began in the CtL parking lot in 1992. CtL continues to support the community and values cooperation among the various faith communities.
On May 28, 1989, groundbreaking took place on a lovely piece of desert earth for a beautiful Sanctuary. Easter Sunday of 1990 began with the first worship service in the uncompleted Prayer Garden at the church. (Today, CtL continues the tradition, starting Palm Sunday services in the Prayer Garden.) The cornerstone was laid May 20, 1990; and the first indoor service was held on May 27, 1990. Official Dedication Services were held on November 11, 1990.
As the congregation planned for Pastor Bob’s retirement, a call was extended to Pastor Michael Johnson, who joined CtL in 2011. Pastor Mike seeks to continue to lead this congregation with a strong missional mindset.
Learn more about Pastor Mike
In recent years, CtL has built and strengthened partnerships with affiliates and agencies which serve the community, the region and the world. While continuing to support the work of the Foothills Caring Corps, Foothills Food Bank, and annual Walk to End Hunger, the congregation has also extended its reach. We support Shoebox Ministries and Grace Lutheran Church in their outreach among the homeless in greater Phoenix; the Urban Native American Outreach; the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission; and our partner parish in Ndengisivilli, Tanzania.
Learn more about the Social Ministry
CtL initiated the Ministry of Music in 2013 which is seen as a new ministry of outreach providing a venue for excellent performance ministry, music education opportunities to youth and adults, a venue for community music events, and an enhance worship experience on Sunday mornings. Learn more about the Music Ministry