The First Ten Years of Mandarin Lutheran Church
Incorporated in 1985, Mandarin Lutheran Church has been a part of the Mandarin Community for 37 years. From our humble beginnings, worshipping at the Catholic Center in Mandarin, to our current 3.6 acre property on San Jose Boulevard, MLC has grown and continues to be a church who welcomes all.
In the early 1980s, the American Lutheran Church sent a young pastor, Lee Magneson, to begin a new Lutheran church in Mandarin. Joining Pastor Lee were his wife, Julie, and their young children, Robbie and Missy. Pastor Lee immediately began calling on virtually every household in Mandarin to introduce himself and Mandarin’s new church, known then as the Lutheran Ministry of Mandarin.
The first worship service of the young congregation was held January 6, 1985, at the Catholic Center at the northeast corner of Old. St. Augustine and Greenland Roads. The Diocese of St. Augustine generously allowed the congregation to meet there until they had a building of their own. Marilyn Whitford’s family was among those who attended services at the Catholic Center.
In December 1985, the church was incorporated as Mandarin Lutheran Church and 11 months later it closed on 3.6 acres at the present location.
Those shown in this photo include Pastor Lee Magneson (far left) and Pastor Dave Winter (second from right). In 1987, construction was completed on the current Fellowship Hall. It served as a multi-purpose facility for MLC and was also rented out to Merry Pat’s Preschool during the week.
Holding two Sunday services (8:00 and 11:00), with Sunday School in between, presented logistical challenges. Each Sunday morning the space had to be changed from the preschool arrangement to church seating, to Sunday School configuration, back to church seating and, finally back to the preschool setup. With many willing hands, the transformation could be accomplished in surprisingly short order.
It was a happy day when construction began on the new sanctuary and an even happier one when it was ready for worship.
The dedication service was attended by the Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, local Lutheran pastors and Protestant and Jewish clergy from Mandarin. The stained-glass windows had not been installed yet.
Initially there were no pews, and the chairs were arranged in a semi-circular pattern facing the altar. Pews were later acquired from a Baptist church in the Southside Estates area that was, ironically, replacing them with chairs.
You won’t want to miss the Mandarin Lutheran Easter Egg Hunt for the children of Jacksonville on Easter Sunday, April 17th, 2022. This event is open to the entire community and ALL are invited to attend.
We invite you to worship with us at 9 a.m., and/or join in the Easter festivities following worship at 10:30 a.m.
Children will be divided into age groups for the hunt, treats will be aplenty, and there is fun to be had by all. No need to bring anything but a basket and a smile.
There is no need to RSVP, but if you would like to let us know you are coming (or share with your friends!) you can see our Mandarin Lutheran Easter Egg Hunt Facebook event here.
If you would like to learn more about Mandarin Lutheran Church, and who we are, what we do, and what we believe, click here.
We are excited to reveal a beautiful new mural in the welcome center of our church. The mural, hand painted by local artist Kimberly Miller, is a unique touch with a special message for all who enter. The mural begins with a rainbow, representing God’s work and his promise to us. Out of the rainbow come hearts, signifying God’s love for us. The hearts transition into butterflies, signifying the life changing power of Christ, which then transform into birds, representing the Holy Spirit sending us out into the world to. Finally, the mural ends with our new MLC logo which reminds us “God’s Work, Our Hands” as we leave church each time to spread the message of Christ and do God’s work in the world.
The rainbow has also come to symbolize LGBTQ community pride and conveys that all are welcome to worship and fellowship with us.
The welcome center serves a very important role on Sundays as the place where we greet visitors, share information and make everyone who enters feel welcome. This is an important ministry and sign ups for volunteers at this desk will be added to the Sign Up Genius we use for all Sunday Service positions. Training will be provided to anyone who would like to support this ministry.
Our mural artist, Kim Miller, holds a degree in fine arts from UNF and is the Executive Director and Founder of FemArt Gallery, Inc. (A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization committed to promoting and supporting women artists.) The organization will be opening a gallery in Riverside soon, and we invite everyone to check out the artists’ work!
“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
One last reminder!! This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and Team Day at MLC!
Grab your favorite sports team gear (any sport, any team) and show your MLC spirit by signing up for Dream Teams! The ministry areas are Council/Administration, Education, Fellowship/Discipleship, Finance, Outreach, Property, Worship/Music, Youth, Talents for Jesus. This is the last week we are highlighting different areas of ministry to help familiarize you with the teams available to join. If you aren’t able to join us for Team Day, you will also have access to a Sign-Up Genius tool to choose the ways in which you’d like to get involved and share your talents and abilities.
This week we’ll feature Fellowship/Discipleship, Worship and Music and Talents for Jesus.
Fellowship/Discipleship teams plan and execute various events intended to bring the congregation together. Celebrations include coffee hour each Sunday following service, Easter breakfast and special receptions.
Worship and Music teams are responsible for all aspects of the worship experience including worship assistants, altar guild and musical performance.
Talents for Jesus – this ministry covers everything that the prior teams haven’t yet captured. What skills, talents, abilities and special gifts do you have that you are called to share? Gardening? Photography? Social Media? Art? Creativity? Share with us where you love to shine!