The history of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in northeast Indianapolis begins with a group of families who began meeting informally in the late 1980’s.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church was organized in July 1988 by Rev. William Schmidt, who was called to be the mission developer for the Geist area of Indianapolis. On March 25, 1989, with 12 families and a temporary name of “Geist Lutheran Church”, the congregation began meeting in the basement of the home directly south of our current Worship Center (now our Faith Life Center). Within a month, the rapidly growing congregation needed more space and moved to 6432 Oaklandon Road, which was the former site Hosanna Lutheran Church. At this time, the permanent name of “Holy Cross Lutheran Church” was selected. Charter Sunday occurred on September 10, 1989, and the congregation was officially organized as a member congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
Groundbreaking for the first worship center at 8115 Oaklandon Road was held on March 18, 1990. In April, Pastor Schmidt was installed as the first pastor of Holy Cross, and on October 7, 1990, the first worship service was held in the new worship center. The following year, October 1991, Pastor Schmidt accepted a call to Eustis, Florida and on March 1, 1992, Rev. John Sattler was installed as the second pastor of Holy Cross. In the fall of 1991, the Holy Cross Preschool opened its doors with a beginning enrollment of 17 students and Nancy Rieman serving as Director and Teacher. Due to the rapid growth of both the congregation and the preschool, it became necessary to expand the existing facility, and in May of 1994, construction began on the new educational wing. This additional space enabled the preschool to include Kindergarten as part of their educational curriculum. Heidi Mielke was called to be our Director of Christian Education in 1997, followed by a calling to the Rev. Terry Hursh as part-time Administrative Pastor in January, 1999.
The home to the south of Holy Cross, the same one in which the original families met, was purchased in the summer of 2001 and converted to church offices, meeting rooms, and a Youth Center, a building we now call the Faith Life Center. Scott Jung was called to be our Faith Life Director in 2001. A new, interim Worship Center was completed in January 2002 allowing for seating for over 350, and Michelle Searcy became our Dayschool Administrator in August of that year. Paul Groth became our Director of Worship in August, 2005. In 2006, Rev. Hursh departed to lead Hope Lutheran Church in Kitchener, Ontario, and the Rev. David McClean was called to become the new Assistant Pastor in January, 2007. In 2008, ground was broken on a new Education Center, complete with a multipurpose gymnasium, which was dedicated on January 25, 2009. This expansion allowed the Holy Cross Lutheran School to begin adding elementary grades.
In 2011, construction began on an expansion of the Education Center and “The Crossing” fellowship space that connects the campus buildings together and making it possible to expand our Lutheran School to offer classes through Grade 8, as well as badly-needed meeting space, an expanded library and computer lab.
In 2012, we issued a Divine Call to Pastor Jon van Sliedrecht to serve as our Mission Developer to initiate a new ministry start in the area north of Holy Cross called Journey Lutheran Ministries of Holy Cross. This is cooperative effort with Carmel Lutheran Church, and Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Westfield, IN.
In September 2014 we celebrated our 25th anniversary as a congregation with a weekend of events, a Concert on the Lawn, church picnic, and a festival worship service outdoors on a glorious day of celebration.
Because of continued growth in our School ministry, we expanded of our Education Center in 2016 to allow for our School to offer two of all the grades, an expanded gymnasium, as well as provide a new facility for our Creative Praise Contemporary Worship.
The newest expansion of our Education Center was completed and dedicated in August 2016 with a weekend of celebration August 19-21, 2016. The addition included 10 new rooms, an expanded gymnasium, a stage, and additional storage space. The extra room allows for the continued growth of the school to include 2 of each grade level through grade 8.
Today Holy Cross is one of the largest and fastest-growing Lutheran Churches in Indiana. God has truly blessed our ministry… and will continue to do so in the years to come!