New church looks to bring Peace to community
By Lauren Jette
For those looking for a worship place to call home, the doors of Peace Lutheran Church are open.
The church is located at 719 Highway 183 North in Building B, Suite 102, and has been meeting since July. Pastor Stephen Apt has been leading the church.
Originally from Illinois, Apt and his wife, Anne, made the move to Liberty Hill after Apt graduated from seminary school in Wisconsin and received his assignment to start Peace Lutheran Church.
“It was really funny, because I was actually here in January,” Apt explained. “The church that started us is in Austin, Holy Word. The pastor requested 20 students to come down and start laying the groundwork to say a church is coming and I was part of that group. So that’s kind of how I got here.”
Since then, Apt has been busy preparing the church for its grand opening on Nov. 8.
“It was a big change of pace getting here, getting my feet on the ground just as a member of the area, living here and also figuring out how to run a church,” Apt said.
“Just from what music are we going to have this Sunday to who’s going to be playing because we don’t have a full time musician yet, so who’s playing? What am I going to be preaching on? Getting that all up and getting organized, that was a difficult part at first.”
Since that first worship service, the congregation has grown.
“When I got here, unlike most church plants, we didn’t have a core group,” Apt said.
“The first worship service, it was word of mouth, we’re going to start worship and if people were here, we would worship, if not, we were not. So really, we had no one at the beginning and now we’re up to between 20 and 25 on Sunday mornings and that’s just people word of mouth in the community talking.”
Apt said the people he has talked to so far aren’t necessarily interested in a new church, but in the programs that will be offered by the church, which include marriage seminars and a Conquerors Through Christ program, which will help those with a porn addiction, along with family-centered programs.
“Our kids programs, we’re running a ‘Mornings with Mommy’ program coming in January,” Apt said. “It’s essentially a big play date for moms and their kids, just with specific events planned here, so my wife will set up learning activities for children, zero through five years old or something, and the parents will interact with them and each other.
“Another one is a family bible night, which will just be on Friday nights,” Apt added. “It will be a relaxed thing, just come and hang out, we’ll have some kind of food provided. The kids can all play and there will be a 20-minute, brief devotion and the kids will have their craft and bible study. The adults will study the exact same story, just we’ll talk about it at our level. And then the rest of the time, hang out and play until everyone’s ready to go home.”
As the name of the church implies, Apt hopes the church can offer peace to those who attend services or programs.
“People want peace and that’s what everyone is looking for, striving to the next thing that’s going to make me happy and families are hard work, life is hard work. It’s not easy,” Apt explained.
“This is kind of morbid to think this way, but in the back of your mind, thinking, hey, I’m going to die someday and how can you have peace with that in the back of your mind? That’s kind of what we are here to do, to tell people, you don’t have to fear, Jesus has taken your sins away and because of that, you are going to go to heaven. That’s my goal is to tell people about that. We just want to bring families together around Jesus because he’s at the center. No matter what happens in your family, you can deal with it because he’s your rock.”
Community involvement is also big for the church, Apt said. There is a large bucket for the collection of items for Operation Liberty Hill every week, and there are plans to hold a citywide food drive in February, where members will hand bags out and come back and collect them a week later.
The church is also hosting a “trunk-or-treat-slash-open house” on Oct. 30, before the grand opening on Nov. 8, Apt said.
“Come and see what Peace is about, why Peace, why a church, why are we here, what’s our message? Come check it out,” he said. “Smokey Mo’s is going to be catering breakfast tacos, we’re going to have a huge spread of other food like that so not only will you get church, you’ll get free breakfast tacos. What else could be better?”
Peace Lutheran Church holds a service at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday. For more information, contact Pastor Apt at (512) 213-5283, or visit www.peacelutheranchurch.org.