“Rejoicing together in Christ’s love + Sharing it with others”

Messiah.LFS Pinwheel GardenIMG_2087bouncefirst communion

We believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ calls us into relationship with others as his church. This is God’s chosen way to our salvation but also the way to an abundant present life. All baptized members of the congregation are called to this faith community as part of “the priesthood of all believers.” We all share in the wider church’s mandate from Christ himself to “preach, teach and baptize.” In doing so, we hope to grow Christ’s church, not just “our” congregation. Baptized members approve the annual budget, call pastors and other servant leaders as needed, and handle other important business matters through our church council, appointed teams, and congregational meetings. We share in all aspects of this mission, and we invite others to join us in relationship. Messiah is wheelchair accessible and welcomes people of all abilities and backgrounds. Come and grow with us!

Building & Strengthening Relationships

shared minWe are located in Mechanicsville, Virginia, serving Hanover County, the greater Richmond area, and beyond. With a very warm and active membership, Messiah Lutheran Church’s mission is “To share the good news of Jesus Christ and to invite all to join us in faith, worship, and service.” Our growing congregation is a member of the Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCAand part of a communion of churches called the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

As our fellow child of God, we invite you to come and grow in grace with us!

Please this short video celebrating our June 2015- June 2016 year of ministry.


*Denotes Interim Pastors

Pastor Lou Florio's Ordination (8 December 2007)

Pastor Lou Florio’s Ordination (8 December 2007). Bishop James Mauney (left) of the Virginia Synod of the ELCA presided.

  • Erich W. Waldek 1966-1969
  • *Frederick Echert: 1969-1970
  • *J. Luther Mauney: 1969-1970
  • Armin Windmueller: 1970-1973
  • Larry Matthews: 1973-1979
  • *Frederick Echert: 1979
  • Jacob L. Mayer: 1979-1985
  • Gary R. Rhinesmith: 1986-1993
  • Stephen L. Moose: 1994-2005
  • *Wally Rosheim: 2005
  • *Timothy F. Waltonen: 2005-2007
  • Lou Florio: 2007-present


  • September 1, 1966 – The Rev. Erich Waldek began work as Lutheran Church in America (LCA) mission developer to establish a Lutheran congregation in Mechanicsville.
  • November 28, 1966 – The Name “Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church” adopted at a meeting of people interested in organizing a new Lutheran Church in the area.
  • December 18, 1966 – Messiah hold it’s first worship service in the old Mechanicsville Fire House.
  • December 20, 1966 – Present church site (11.5 acres) purchased.
  • March 12, 1967 – First Sunday School held with 16 children and seven adults.
  • May 26, 1968 – Groundbreaking for Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  • November 3, 1968 – Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church is dedicated on All Saints Sunday.
  • December 15, 1968 – Organization day held with 46 confirmed adult members signing the charter.
  • April 20, 1969 – Erich W. Waldek was installed as Messiah’s first Pastor.
  • April 18, 1976 – Memorial Cross (Atlee Road side of property) dedicated on Easter Sunday (donated in memory of Cleve Newell).
  • November 24, 1976 – Messiah Lutheran, Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, and Church of the Creator Episcopal become the founding congregations of Mechanicsville Churches Emergency Functions (MCEF), today helping our neighbors through a food pantry, clothing closets, emergency financial assistance, senior rides and more.
  • January 1, 1988 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is formed from the joining of the American Lutheran Church, Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church in America.
  • August 11, 1991 – Ground was broken for new church building, a $420,000 renovation.
  • May 10, 1992 – A cornerstone was laid for the new sanctuary.
  • September 4, 1995 – Messiah Lutheran School opens. MLS operates a pre-school and offers after-school care for elementary aged students.
  • April 28, 1996 – Stained glass windows in sanctuary dedicated.
  • October 25, 1998 – The Atlee Road church sign was dedicated. Bryan Mahovtas made plans for and constructed the sign as part of an Eagle Scout Project.
  • October 12, 2003 – Messiah hosts a 35th Anniversary celebration. Bishop James Mauney preached with Pastor Stephen Moose presiding.
  • December 8, 2007 – Lou Florio was ordained and installed as an ELCA Pastor. This was the first ordination held at Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  • August 5, 2008 – Messiah Lutheran Church joins other ELCA congregations in declaring itself “A Safe Haven for Children.” A special service was held to rededicate the congregation to the service and protection of children and their families.
  • September 1, 2008 – Messiah becomes a “Book of Faith” congregation, an ELCA program encouraging scriptural study. Special themed studies and resources were offered throughout the next three years.
  • October 18, 2008 – Messiah held its first pet blessing and bake sale which became our annual fall festival, CreationFest. Hanover Humane Society was our special guests.
  • November 28, 2008 – Messiah hosts a 40th Anniversary celebration unified service and luncheon. Bishop James Mauney visited to preside at a special worship the previous Sunday.
  • March 1, 2009 – An outdoor classroom shelter was completed by Patrick Collie as part of an Eagle Scout project.
  • December 6, 2009 – Sue Gilnett, RN was installed as Messiah’s first Parish Nurse.
  • July 2010 – Six youth attend the ELCA’s National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, “Jesus, Justice, Jazz.”
  • August 1, 2010 – During a special service of celebration, 200 copies of the new worship book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, were consecrated. A commemorative book with personal and historical dedications was published.
  • May 19, 2011 – Messiah becomes a covenant congregation with Hanover Habitat for Humanity.
  • June 12, 2011 – The picnic area was renovated by Adam Dworak, Jr. as part of an Eagle Scout project.
  • July 2012 – Four youth attend the ELCA’s National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, “Citizens with the Saints.”
  • September 15, 2012 – Messiah Lutheran begins service as a contextual education site. Vicar Nathan Huffman becomes Messiah’s first seminary intern.
  • February 3, 2013 – Messiah Lutheran becomes the third “Friends for Life Congregation” in Hanover County, a welcoming place for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • November 24, 2013 – On Christ the King Sunday, a 45th anniversary celebration was held. Bishop James Mauney preached with Pastor Lou Florio presiding. A new outside cross and memorial garden (entry side of building) was dedicated along with a new processional cross and banner. A painting of the church building by a local artist, Michael Martin, was commissioned.
  • January 19, 2014 – Messiah Lutheran & All Souls Episcopal newly combined youth group (Fall 2013) host the first-ever youth led service in our county for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Youth from Shady Grove United Methodist Church and Redeemer Roman Catholic Church also participated.
  • May 8, 2014 – Messiah is among the first congregations to join the Worship Watch program of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. This new program garnered national media attention.
  • July 2015 – Two youth from our Messiah – All Souls combined youth group attend the 2015 National Youth Gathering, “Rise Up!” in Detroit, MI. One youth represented each church.
  • August 4, 2015 – Messiah serves as the first congregation in Hanover County to sponsor a National Night Out event for neighbors.
  • June 5, 2016 – The outdoor worship space constructed by Eagle Scout Michael Habron dedicated.
  • August 26, 2016 – Messiah Lutheran School closes due to declining enrollment.

sow seeds

Learn more about our history.

Learn more about our history.

Visit our complete photo gallery!

Visit our complete photo gallery!