Praise and Worship Lutheran Church in Branson
The congregation at Praise & Worship Lutheran Church in Western Branson were blessed this summer to celebrate
worshipping in their first ever building— and you helped make that happen!
Praise & Worship started in 2007 as a mission to reach the unchurched in the Branson area. Their first gathering had less than ten dedicated people in attendance and was located in a theater. Over the years the mission would be based out of theaters and homes, wherever they could creatively find space, growing in size every step of the way. In 2013 Praise & Worship officially joined the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. At that time, they were operating out of a winery’s event space.
As Praise & Worship continued to grow and the winery got busier, it became clear that Praise & Worship needed a space of their very own. However, in the Branson area space and property are premium. Renting is very costly, as is, of course, buying land and building a structure. That’s where the Missouri District was able to help. The District owned land in the Branson area. Leaders at Praise & Worship worked with the District Office to acquire the property and start building a new worship center. Now located on 20 acres in Branson West, the congregation of Praise & Worship can gather together in their own building and use their center to reach even more unchurched.
The congregation at Praise & Worship serves a unique demographic. The mission was started to reach the unchurched, but Rev. Mark Hunsaker, Pastor at Praise & Worship, describes their outreach as “dechurched”. He states, “Many have stopped going [to church] years ago, and most do not have a Lutheran background. They maybe went to a Baptist, Assembly of God, etc... This creates a unique opportunity where those worshipping can hear the lifesaving message of Christ crucified, while learning about the Lutheran church along the way. “We’ll also have a ‘dig deeper’ section that explains the parts of the worship,” Rev. Hunsaker explains, “like ‘today we did a Sanctus, here’s what that means’. ...One of the areas that this is a big deal is baptism. We baptize infants, but many were brought up believing that’s wrong– that baptism is your promise to God. And we’ll take scriptures and show how it’s God’s promise to you... They get excited about how it’s reversed!”
“We’re going forth and making disciples– disciples that know that Jesus loves them through Word and Sacrament.” – Rev. Hunsaker (pictured lower left.)