Answered prayer as well as the beginning of something new and exciting was celebrated Sunday, January 8 at Grace Lutheran Church in Killeen. Over 170 people from the community and churches throughout Circuit 17 came together to celebrate God’s provision and Pastor Gerry Harrow’s installation as the church planter to the Killeen/ Harker Heights area.

“The process to plant a new congregation began some 18 months ago as research was done to see just what the needs of the community might be. The results were eye-opening and the need to reach the community with the love of Jesus was very evident” said St. Paul The Grove Pastor John Heckmann. The path to find the church planter was challenging and had many ups and downs but culminated in Pastor Gerry Harrow accepting the call and moving to central Texas from Greeley, CO. Pastor Tim Runtsch, Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, CO, where Pastor Gerry was an Associate Pastor and Director of Multi-site Ministries, commented “We will miss Pastor Gerry but we are excited to contribute to the larger church whose role is to connect people to Jesus in all areas of this world.”

But that isn’t the end of the story. As this unfolded, both sponsoring churches, St. Paul The Grove and Grace Lutheran Church in Killeen, experienced such abundant generosity that both were able to pay off significant debt. “What a blessing to start 2017 debt free! And, what a blessing to start 2017 by engaging our mission plans to plant a church. As St. John writes, ‘From His fullness we receive grace upon grace!’ That we are starting the New Year off by paying off the mortgage and by starting work with the church plant is no coincidence. It is God’s timing.” said Pastor Green. Pastor Heckmann agreed “this is just another confirmation that this is the time to plant a daughter congregation, that we have the right man on board as God’s gift to us, and that the place is where we need to be to reach many more with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

So the work begins. Pastor Gerry has started the work of “community listening,” of assembling a launch team, and of understanding the needs in this diverse, military community. “The needs are great and the challenges are abundant… but it is very clear that God has a plan to reach the people of this community.” says Pastor Gerry. The vision for the area is that the sponsoring churches partner and learn together as they reach out into the community with God’s hope and Good News, not just through the new church plant, but also through existing ministries. Truly God has prepared it all “for such a time as this.” Please pray for the people of this area, the church plant and the sponsoring congregations. If you would like to financially support the efforts or have questions, please contact Pastor Gerry Harrow at 970-405-6691 or Follow us at

By: Rev. Gerry Harrow