Grace Lutheran Church
Winter Haven FL



Who we are

Our Values

By God’s Grace through faith in Christ our Savior, We VALUE:

Meaningful Worship

Through Word and Sacrament our hearts interact and commune with the heart of God in meaningful worship experiences of traditional and contemporary forms filled with heart-moving music, Scripturally-inspired preaching, sacred prayers and many participants.

Christian Education

Young and old, we are students of God’s Word. We seek opportunities, privately and in groups and classes, to sit at the feet of our Master and Savior as He instructs us for life here and in eternity. Thus, everything we learn and do is shaped by His perspective as we grow spiritually closer to Him.

Family-Friendly Fellowship

We love children and desire all ages to play, talk, eat, learn and work together as dearly loved children of God. We desire an atmosphere and campus that portrays inclusiveness and friendliness.

Member Care

Brothers and sisters, pastors and people (teachers and students) in our congregational (and school) family help carry each other’s burdens and share each other’s joys. Various and specialized ministries are organized to contact, visit, befriend, walk beside, love and support the members of our family throughout life’s journey.

Outreach to New People

As our Lord’s heart always goes out to others, so also our hearts reach out daily to bring the newness of His love to others in our community and beyond.

Grace Lutheran’s Heritage

As God gives much freedom in particular manners of His ministry, we are grateful for the manners of our Lutheran ancestors, particularly in this community. Our tradition of strong leadership, commitment to excellence and forward thinking helps shape our future.

Church Address

Grace Lutheran Church
327 Avenue C SE
Winter Haven, FL 33880-3245
United States
Phone: (863) 293-8447
Fax: (863) 291-0935
Download vCard with Service Times   Edit

Church Pastor

The Rev. Charles T. Reich
The Rev. Charles T. Reich
327 Avenue C SE
Winter Haven, FL 33880-3245
United States
Phone: (863) 293-8447
Fax: (863) 291-0935
Download Pastor The Rev. Charles T. Reich vCard with Bio   Edit

Quote of the Day
Psalms 31:3

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.



The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod   Edit

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Leader Name:
The Rev. Charles T. Reich   Edit
Leader Position:
Pastor   Edit
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Leader Address:
(863) 291-0935   Edit
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Leader Bio:
Pastor Charles Reich believes his personal mission is to help individuals be the person God has created each to be in Christ Jesus, and to lead a congregation of people in fulfilling the vision God has in mind for them. He first came to Grace in Winter Haven as an Associate Pastor in 2006 after having served as Pastor of a mission congregation in Gainesville, FL 1996-2006. In 2018 he was elected by the FL-GA District of the LCMS as a Regional Vice President.

He grew up in Sweetwater, TX and completed High School in Charlotte, N.C. He earned a B.A. in Communications at Concordia University Texas and a Masters of Divinity from the LCMS Seminary in St. Louis. In 1993, he married a fellow Texan, Karri, and they are blessed with two wonderful children; Anna currently away at college and Timothy in High School. He enjoys family, sports and all types of games. Prepare-Enrich Premarital Counseling ’96; Pastoral Leadership Institute ’04, Emergent Leadership Training ’14, certification for Lutheran Early Response Teams ’13 & ’19.   Edit
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Peggy Jo Griffin   Edit
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Mailing Address

327 Avenue C Se
Winter Haven, FL
33880-3244   Edit

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327 Avenue C SE, Winter Haven, FL
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Grace Lutheran Church Service Times

Saturday 5:00 PM traditional

Sunday 8:30 AM contemporary

10:45 AM traditional (also Livestreamed)

Grace Lutheran Church service times last updated on the 12th of October, 2021
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History of Grace Lutheran Church, Winter Haven FL

Grace Lutheran Church began as a preaching station during the days of World War II and became an official ministry of the LCMS in Winter Haven, FL, in 1948. The first permanent Pastor, the Reverend Dr. August Bernthal was called in 1950.

In 1952, ground was broken for the first church building, referred to as the Parish Hall (pictured to the left). In 1955, the sanctuary was expanded to seat 450 people for worship.

In 1956 buildings were completed to house a parochial kindergarten. This marked the beginning of Grace Lutheran School.

As the congregation grew, ground was broken for a new sanctuary in 1960. In 1969, school construction began. Since then, school facilities have expanded with a gymnasium and additional classrooms. Today, the school and pre-school serve children from ages two through grade eight.

In the 1970’s, the sanctuary was enhanced with the addition of a Holloway pipe organ, and the installation of the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn the Nave, Chapel, Narthex, and Balcony.

In 1979, Grace partnered with Stephen Ministry, St. Louis, to train and equip lay ministers to walk alongside people experiencing grief, relationship challenges, and other life crises. Since that time, Grace has trained over 180 Stephen Ministers and they, in turn, have helped over 800 hurting souls.

Grace has helped to establish other Lutheran congregations in Lake Wales, Bartow, and Sebring.

The 1980’s saw continued growth for Grace. Office space, meeting rooms, a youth center, and a school library were added to the facilities. These facilities became known as the Bernthal Center for Community and Ministry, and were dedicated in 1989. During this time, Grace served as a leading congregation in the resettlement of refugees from Viet Nam, Croatia, and Rwanda.

The most recent addition to Grace’s facilities occurred in the year 2000. A new Early Childhood Center serving infants and preschool age children was opened on the grounds across the street from the church.

In 2006 Grace Lutheran Church resumed our vicarage program. Each year Grace receives a third year seminary student who works with the pastors and staff for a year to gain experience in all aspects of parish life before returning to seminary for his final year at seminary.

2007 brought the inception of a Contemporary Lutheran Worship Service to Grace-complete with Praise Band comprised of singers, guitars, drums, and keyboard.

Also in 2007, Grace Lutheran Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lakeland began the Fine Arts School of Central Florida. This ministry is designed to provide opportunities for both students and adults to gain experience in a variety arts including vocal music, instrumental music, dance, art, and various crafts. Classes and lessons are taught on a variety of days and times at both of the church campuses.

2008 to present has been a transitional time for Grace with various ministries serving congregational needs. A concerted focus on taking the church outside our walls has been a major emphasis for the last 3 years and will continue to be a strong component of our ministry moving forward.

In 2014, Phase I of our Columbarium project was completed creating a beautiful addition to the outside Chapel wall; it houses 92 niches surrounded by colorful landscaping.

Technological advances are ongoing in both church and school.

At present, Grace is positioned for vibrant ministry for many years to come. Click on the Vision Statement tab for what we believe God has in mind for Grace in the future.
The Pastoral Staff of Grace Through the Years

Rev. Dr. August Bernthal, Founding Pastor/1950-2000
Rev. Harold Bernthal/1974-1986 (assistant)
Rev. William Qualman/1987-2004
Rev. Dr. David Bernthal/2000-2004
Rev. Raymond Malotky/2003-2004 (assistant)
Rev. Dr. Milan Weerts/2004-2005 (interim)
Rev. John R. Koczman/2005-2008
Rev. Alston Kirk/2009 (interim)
Rev. Jonathan Frusti/2010-2015
Rev. Charles T. Reich/2006 to present
Rev. Mark A. Harris/2016-2019
Rev. Brendon T. Moore/2021 to present

The Vicars Who Have Served at Grace

Tim Ahlman/2006-2007/First call to Bethlehem Lutheran Church and School, Lakewood, Colorado
James Maxwell/2007-2008/First call to St. Peter Lutheran Church, Whitefish, Montana
Joshua Schmidt/2008-2009/First call to St. John Lutheran Church & Christian Day School, Defiance, Ohio
Jonathan Kern/2009-2010/First call to St. James Lutheran Church, Gonzales, Louisiana
John Schultz/2010-2011/First call to St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin
Dustin Kear/2011-2012/First call to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Harlingen, Texas
Daniel Potts/2012-2013/First call to Trinity Lutheran Church, Monroe, Michigan
Kyle Jones/2013-2014/First call to Faith Lutheran Church Appleton, Wisconsin
Deaconess Intern Melissa Jones/2013-2014
Mark Harris/2014-2015/First call to Grace Lutheran Church, Winter Haven, FL
John Kyle/2015
Paul Radke/2017-2018/First call to St. Luke Lutheran Church in Elcho, WI and St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Deerbrook, WI
Matthew Bohlmann/2018-2019/First call to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wichita, KS
Brendon Moore/2019-2020/First call to Grace Lutheran Church, Winter Haven, FL
Michael Duffy/2020-2021   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer "Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work."
Oswald Chanbers
Grace Lutheran Church listing was last updated on the 12th of October, 2021
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