Living Savior began with two families meeting in their homes for worship in 1977. These families were looking for something they weren't getting anywhere else, a Christ-centered faith and a Bible-based message that would share all of God's Word. This small group became to grow. Yet, without a pastor of their own, they relied on pastors from Knoxville, TN, and Columbia, and Greenville, SC to travel and to share God's Word in all of its truth. "Our Savior Lutheran Church" was born and a building was purchased on Oakland Street in Hendersonville. From 1979 until 1998 they were served by several different pastors, including semi-retired pastors for the last nine of those years. While the group continued to grow, the emphasis on the Word of God and reaching out to others with the message of Jesus has not changed.
In 1998 a decision was made relocate with a renewed mission focus to the Arden/Fletcher/Mills River areas. April 8, 2001, was the grand opening for Living Savior. The Groce chapel served as the Sunday morning meeting place for over six years. Soon, they made use the former Grange Community Building on Overlook Road (land once owned by George Washington Vanderbilt) as their Ministry Center. After renovating and then purchasing that property, a new church was built in 2006-07. It was dedicated on June 3, 2007. Living Savior Preschool opened its doors that September and has been providing a Christ-centered, quality education ever since.
In 2015 Living Savior began evaluating might be next in carrying out the mission of the church. With several members who live outside the target radius, most of whom live in Henderson County, we discussed whether we might use that to our advantage in reaching more people with the gospel. At the end of 2016, beginning of 2017, Living Savior decided to move forward in broadening our mission impact by becoming multi-site. Living Savior, Hendersonville began on Saturday, February 25th, at 201 Sugarloaf Rd., and continues meeting every Saturday evening thereafter.
Living Savior serves as an important member in the community, serving those around us with programs, classes, events, and worship all centered on the love of God in Jesus Christ our Savior. He and his Word are the focus of all that we do.
And although the face of Living Savior is evident in this community, it also reaches beyond this immediate area, serving several families in Henderson, Transylvania, and even Haywood Counties. But our reach goes even further than these beautiful mountains and this region. Through our partnership with a national church body, we walk together with hundreds of thousands to reach the ends of this continent and to the edges of the globe. It is a great blessing to be part of a large church body that works together to serve more people, welcome everyone to share in the blessings of God's Word, and reach as many as possible with the life and soul-saving message of the gospel.
Our National Church Body
Living Savior is proud to be a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Why that name? What does it mean? It started in Milwaukee, WI in 1850 when three German Lutheran pastors met together in order to do mission work. Today, WELS is headquartered just outside of Milwaukee. WELS is evangelical because we share the good news (what the word evangelical literally means) of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. WELS is Lutheran, which means that we proclaim the forgiveness of sins through God's grace in Christ alone, by God's grace alone made ours by faith alone. And WELS is a synod, which means that we, well over 300,000 Christians served by well over 1,000 pastors, walk together to carry out the mission that God has given by preaching and teaching the Word as we serve everyone around us.
Our Christian Heritage
Living Savior follows the Bible first and foremost. We find that the teachings of the Bible are well represented in the Lutheran Confessions (or here). These documents were prepared in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. Undeniably, life is not the same today as it was in Germany in the 1500s, but fortunately for all of us, God remains the same forever. The truths of grace and love and redemption and the practical wisdom for life that God has given us through his word are just as real and useful as they were when Christians 500 years ago sat down to summarize them so that God's people could see them more clearly.
Like the Christians of yesteryear, we at Living Savior want to help you see life in light of the truth. We teach and believe what God says will work so the people of Asheville and the surrounding communities can use what God's given them. Half a millennium from now, it's possible that people will look back on our work for help in their knowledge of God. Being a part of history is a uniquely humbling privilege. We hope you'll join us in it.