(ROCKWALL, TX — February 5, 2018) The historic church in downtown Rockwall at 305 S. Fannin street was purchased by Divine Peace Church at the end of January, preserving this historic worship space in the heart of Rockwall. The congregation began leasing the space from Mrs. Iris Smith in 2016 and has now made the entire facility, previously known as the Rockwall Wedding Chapel, its permanent home. Divine Peace looks forward to serving Rockwall with worship, Bible Studies, community service events and more with the larger campus.
This historic chapel was built in 1916 by the First Christian Church, now located in Heath, and has been an important part of the Rockwall landscape for over 100 years. First Christian Church held services at the sanctuary until 2003 when the site was sold and became a commercial wedding venue called the Rockwall Wedding Chapel. The Smith family owned and operated their business from 2005 till 2017 when Mrs. Iris Smith graciously continued the site’s historic purpose by selling the property to Divine Peace Church.
Divine Peace found Rockwall was a natural place for as a second campus after serving the Garland area since 1995 from its location on Pleasant Valley Road. Rev John Hering noted, “Recently, the congregation added many new families from the Rockwall community. It became clear that Rockwall was a community we needed to find a way to serve locally.” In 2015, Divine Peace began holding services at the “Our House” event facility, owned by Scott and Leslie Milder, on Goliad Street. Quickly outgrowing the beautiful facility, Divine Peace called a second pastor, Rev. Gunnar Ledermann, to lead the ministry efforts in Rockwall.
When asked about the ministries of Divine Peace in Rockwall, Pastor Gunnar Ledermann spoke to the congregation’s commitment to give Rockwall families a home town church. “Our congregation has been pleased to share the Gospel message and serve those in need in our community. This historic campus will help us minister more effectively. We want to thank Iris Smith and the community for making this possible.”
The congregation will be hosting several events at the end of March leading up to Easter as part of its grand opening celebration. The community in encouraged to come learn about this special piece of Rockwall’s history and the future of ministry at this campus.
About Divine Peace:
We are a local Christian congregation from the Lutheran denomination. We believe that all people are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus and the Bible is the unchanging Word of God. The congregation works locally in and around the communities of Rockwall and Garland to share the love of Jesus for all people supported by the larger church body of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Our churches are served by Pastors John Hering and Gunnar Ledermann who have undergone a rigorous 8-year education and training program. They each lead Bible studies, youth ministry, family programs and Bible information classes for families who want a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
Worship services are rooted in practical sermons and traditional Christian hymns. Community members who are looking for a comfortable, conservative and “old school” family-oriented church are invited to join us Sunday mornings for Bible study & coffee at 9:00 am and worship at 10:30 am. You are free to dress up or wear boots & jeans during worship, our pastors often do.
Our grand opening theme is “Rooted in Rockwall” as we will celebrate with events supported by local Rockwall vendors. Come celebrate at these free grand opening events.
Chamber of Commerce Open House: Thursday, 3/22 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Drop by for hors d’oeuvres, tour the church and chat with our pastors.
Easter Family Portraits: Saturday, 3/24 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Stop by after the Harry Myers Park Easter Egg hunt and get a free professional family Easter portrait with photographer Michelle Thurgood! BBQ will be served from Soulman’s BBQ as well.
Grand Opening Service: Palm Sunday 3/25 at 10:30 am. We will have a catered brunch from The Fatted Calf after the worship service.
Maundy Thursday Service: Thurs, 3/29 at 7:00 pm. We celebrate the Last Supper and Christ’s promise for our redemption. (We will also hold a Good Friday Service at our Garland campus.)
Easter Sunday Service: Sunday, 4/1. We will hold a sunrise service at 7:30 am in our outdoor pavilion. After the service, join us for coffee and breakfast tacos from Rosa’s Café and an Easter egg hunt for the kids beginning at 9:15 am!
About our pastors:
Pastor John Hering is married to wife, June, with four adult children and serves as the campus pastor at our Garland church as well as supporting ministry in Rockwall. A native of Oklahoma, God’s path for the Herings has included leading Lutheran mission work in Japan for 10 years before coming to Garland, TX . Pastor Hering also ministers at area Christian youth camps and is a mentor for other pastors in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Pastor Gunnar Ledermann and wife Marinda came to Rockwall following “Pastor Gunnar’s” graduation from seminary. Pastor Lederman spent his youth roaming the foothills of cattle country in Northern California where his parents still reside on the family ranch. He is active in serving Rockwall through the Kiwanis Club and is the marketing leader for the Young Professionals of Rockwall. The Ledermann’s look forward to meeting their firstborn in March and can’t wait for her to grow up in Texas.
Submitted press release.
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