The first worship service of the newly formed Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, led by Rev. Martin Foutz, Sr., a missionary Pastor, was held on March 9, 1958. Pastor Foutz was officially called on November 16th 1958 and became the official pastor on January 1 1959.
It was attended by 145 founding members of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) Mission church in North Hills Elementary school cafeteria.
The new church was officially recognized by the ULCA Synod and the State of Michigan on Oct. 26, 1958 with 242 baptized members. Wasting no time, the first building fund drive was quickly organized and raised enough money to buy property and build a church and acquire a parsonage at 191 West Tienken Road. The current property which was just outside of the small town of Rochester was purchased in May of 1959.
We broke ground in March of 1962 for construction of a small Church building for the fledgling congregation
At this time, we merged into the newly formed Lutheran Church in America (LCA). In the early 70’s it became evident that the small building was unable to serve the diverse needs of the growing church and after a look at options available, a new Sanctuary was added onto the original building, The first service in the new Sanctuary was held on Christmas Eve in 1979. We acquired a Skinner Pipe organ in 1982 and spent the next several years installing it in the sanctuary.
The 1998 addition to the church coincided with a merger into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The aging and finicky Skinner pipe organ was replaced with a state-of-the-art Rogers digital organ.
In 2006 we undertook a major renovation of the entire building, which included a dedicated music center for the choir. At this time we built several classrooms and support areas specifically designed for the Abiding Presence Preschool . A beautiful stained glass cross became the focal point of the sanctuary, and the Rogers Pipe organ was re-installed.
The Rev. Martin F. Foutz, Sr. served as a missionary pastor for almost 2 years until a young permanent pastor was called.
October 26, 1958. From Left to Right, Reverend M. Fredrick Foutz, Jr, Pastor at Shepherd of the Lakes, Walled Lake / Pastor & Mission Developer Reverend Martin F. Foutz, Sr, Abiding Presence Lutheran in Rochester Hills / Dr. Frank P. Madsen, Pastor of the Michigan Synod.
The young Rev. Lloyd Buss, accepted the position in September of 1960. Pastor Buss and his wife Betty Jo (who became the music director) started building the congregation. They helped develop the caring, compassionate and involved organization that is Abiding Presence today. This task of caring for Abiding Presence continued for 37 years with their retirement in 1997, The Buss’s still reside in Rochester Hills today.