History of Our Church
Service Times: Wednesday at 5:30 PM ~~ Sunday at 8:15 AM and 11:00 AM
7045 SW 83rd Place, Ocala FL 34476 - Phone: 352-854-4509

History of Our Church

(Disclaimer:  When viewed on smaller screens such as a cell phone the years will NOT be in chronological order.)


January 20-21- Joy held its first retreat at the Christian Church Conference Center on SR 40 with 25 people in attendance.
May 7- Lutheran Men in Mission was organized
July-Mission statement and financial program for the church were planned by the Service, Finance and Stewardship Committees of Joy and the Director of ELCA Commission for Financial Support.
November-"Tidings of Joy" the parish newsletter was first published.
Christmas Day Service was the first service held in the remodeled house which served as Joy's temporary Sanctuary.



March 27- Palm Sunday. Groundbreaking Service was held.
May 9- Construction on Joy began
October-the trusses were put on the top of the walls and the roof was on the building and construction on Joy was finished not long after.
December-the 10 foot light bronze sculpture, titled "The Risen Christ" was lifted up and set in place on the front of Joy. The display includes a six foot statue of Jesus Christ with his arms outstretched and a dove resting upon a circular wreath framework. The sculpture was made by Candice Knapp.

1994 11994 21994 51994 4

1994 3           




February 15-organ pipes were installed, thereby completing our New Rodgers 905 Digital Organ.
April-A celebration organ concert sponsored by Central Music Company of Clearwater was held. Joy started printing our own bulletins, with the purchase of a new CD program for the computer.
May 14th-Joy had an "Evening with the Swensons" to celebrate Pastor Swenson's retirement from and service to Joy Lutheran Church.
July 1st-Pastor Dean Swenson retired and his last service was on June 27th. Where his whole family honored him with a special Communion Service. We also welcomed our Interim Pastor to Joy - Rev. Dr. Marvin Seemann.
August 8th-An Installation Communion Service was celebrated and included Dr. Baines and Dr. Harris as well as other ministers from the Pinelands Conference.

1999 11999 21999 3 2008

July-Hallebash Music Festival held at Joy Lutheran church. Pastor Sean Forde organized the Festival for local Contemporary Christian Bands and had food, water games, drawings and overall fun.
September-Joy Lutheran Church held its first Upward Flag Football game at Hope Field at Joy.


January 17- Celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Joy Lutheran Church with a special Service at the Church and then a party at Swenson Hall with 145 people in attendance. Joy became a Stephen Ministry Congregation.


February 10-Joy hold's a special service to honor all members celebrating a marriage of 50 years or more. We had couples ranging from 50 years to the longest at 74 years.
April 10-Family Fun Night at Joy begins at 5:30pm.
August 25-Joy says goodbye to members Fred & Judi Minster as they move back North. Fred was Sexton and Judi was Treasurer for Joy for many years.
October-Spanish Service started at Joy with Pastor Israel Reyes officiating, and assisted by Pastor Luis Betances. A few years later the service was ended by Pastor Reyes.


January 4- "567 Go Tell It From The Mount" with Cring and Clazzy service held at Joy.
April 25-Joy's LMM Fish Fry held at Swenson Hall.
Summer-New roof for Swenson Hall and Garage.
October 4-Two of Joy's Charter Members (Gloria Z. & Ben C.) speak to Congregation before Service, and the Sermon was given by Anne Shank.
October 11-Joy Lutheran Church celebrated 25 years of Monistry with a special service and a party at the Ocala Hilton Hotel.


February 19-Pastor Arthur Wuertz installation was held at JOY with the Bishop and guest Pastors present
February 21-JOY hires new Administrative Assistant Sandy
February 26-JOY said goodbye to long-time Administration Assistant Fran on her retirement
April 16- Pastor Art's first Easter Service at JOY
October 28- JOY's celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Service was held
November 11-JOY's Annual Blessing of the Pets was held with Pastor Art officiating for the first time

2017 1

2017 3




2017 2


The seed for Joy Lutheran Church was planted, when mission planners of LCA Division for Outreach saw that the growing population in the SW Ocala area of SR 200 could be served by a Lutheran Church and sent Pastor Dean L. Swenson to Ocala a Pastor-Developer. First interest meeting was held in November of 1987.


The church by-laws were written and a feasibility study was made to plan a fund raising campaign.


The members of Joy continued to actively work for his Kingdom and pursued plans for building a new house of worship. Memorial Garden and walkway were dedicated.



March-a successful "Vision for Joy" fundraising campaign was held using the services of Lutheran Laity Movement.
October-The Congregation voted to commit to a loan of $700,000 from the ELCA to pay for the existing property and construction of a new building. At a special congregation meeting we approved the transfer of existing property and buildings from the ELCA to Joy Lutheran Church. A vote to construct a new sanctuary and approval to name Cogun Industries, Inc. to design and build was approved by the congregation and subsequently the ELCA Division for Outreach.


Second service was held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, and all services after that for about two years at 4pm each Sunday in the Sanctuary.

On March 6- the first child was baptized at Joy Lutheran Church. In the spring of 1988, the present property was selected and a contract to purchase was signed by the ELCA. September - Joy's Women of the ELCA was organized.

   1988 1    1988 2   


January 15 @ 10am, new Sanctuary of Joy Lutheran Church is dedicated to the glory of God. The Valedictory Service was held at Swenson Hall the former worship place and then the Procession to the new church let by Cross, Candles, Banners, Altar Guild bearing the appointments, the choir, Architects, Contractors, Building Committee, the Church Council, and the Clergy. At the doors of the Church the Architect and Contractor presented the keys of the Church to the Chairman of the Building Committee and then to the President of the Council. The Congregation and Processional entered the Nave and began the dedication of the building, Altar, Appointments, Baptismal Font, The Pulpit and Lecteen, and all other furnishings.
April 9-Joy celebrated the observance of our Fifth Anniversary of Charter and Recognition. Also in April, Contracts were signed with White Stained Glass Studios for 6 windows- Passion, Easter, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas, and Palm Sunday for a cost of $16,268, paid for by memorials and special gifts.
June 8-stained glass windows were installed in the church
October 29-was the public unveiling of the original painting of Noah's Ark scenes on one entire wall in our Joy Church Nursery and was painted by Joy member and artist Betty Legg.

1995 1
   1995 2

   1995 41995 3           



January-Joy sent out postcards to invite people to come and join Joy.
February-A portable Prayer Labyrinth was setup in Joy's Swenson Hall by Pastor Sean Forde and Gloria Z. for Lent.
June-Joy celebrated as Pastor Edward Holloway, Jr. marked 25 years of Ministry. A short service was held at the celebration and an Olive Tree was planted in Joy's Memorial Garden to mark the occasion. Wednesday Night Services began at joy Lutheran church and held at 6:45pm.
November-A German Service began at Joy, held on the First Sunday of every month.


Thursday before Easter, Joy held a Seder (Passover Dinner) with Rabbi Kyle Moline presiding.
June 28-A farewell party was held at Countryside Presbyterian Church in their fellowship hall for Pastor Sean Forde and his family.
July 1-Pastor Sean Forde left Joy to go to develop a church in Port St. Lucie, Florida for a position(job).


April 7-Joy holds its First Annual Easter Egg Hunt with about 70 children in attendance.
June 2-Joy celebrated Pastor Edward Holloway's 10th year at Joy and 30 years in service with a dinner held at Oak Run's Palm Grove auditorium.
November 11-Joy holds its 23rd Annual Congregational Meeting for budget year 2013. Members of Joy helped raise money for The Salvation Army with the ringing of the bell at Winn Dixie on Mondays.
November 22-Joy members enjoy each other's company at Thanksgiving Dinner in Swenson Hall


Joy had a visit from the Bishop.
October-New Banners received by Joy
October 25-Joy's 6th Annual Town Hall Meeting held.
October 26-Joy's Confirmation of Caroline and Nicole.
November 1-Joy Member's take CPR and AED training.
November 9-Joy's Annual Church Meeting held for budget year 2015.


January 30-Pastor Edward Holloway, Jr. retires from Joy Lutheran Church
March 30-Members of JOY started repairs and remodel on rental house owned by the Church.
November 20-JOY's Church Council made a motion to call Pastor Arthur Wuertz as Pastor of JOY Evangelical Lutheran Church to the Congregation for approval. Motion passed and Pastor Art was called to be the new Pastor for JOY
November 27- Interim Pastor Roy's last day at JOY


January 1-Pastor Art's 1st Anniversary at JOY
July 29-JOY holds a celebration to honor Sharon "Sherry" on her retirement as JOY's Organist



January 1-Pastor Art's 2nd year Anniversary at JOY
February 26-JOY holds first Popcorn and a Movie in the Sanctuary. The movie was "I Can Only Imagine".
March 3-JOY's WELCA Women held a Fashion Show with the help of Janet from Bon Worth Clothing Store. All the models were women from JOY.
June 29- New roof was put on the Sanctuary
September 1 - Silas Daniel became our new Organist/Pianist.

2019 1 2019 2






Regular Sunday morning worship services begun on January 14th in the remodeled house on the property on SR 200. The charger statement and congregational constitution were adopted; the first Congregational Council was elected.
April-One hundred twenty charter members and six associate members signed the Charter.
April 29-Pastor Swenson was called to serve Joy Lutheran Church. Joy's mission statement was approved and we registered as a non-profit corporation in Florida.
September 3-A second Sunday service was added with one hundred fourteen persons worshipping.

1990 1

1990 2


October-Joy's Pipe Organ brought and installed. An organ fund was started and will continue until 1999.


Pipes for the organ were ordered from Italy and will arrive in December.
LMM joined the rest of the Florida-Bahama Synod's Global Outreach Committee in the 'Pigs and Pastors' project in Haiti.


May- Joy Celebrated its Tenth Anniversary
September-Joy's Processional Cross was purchased using donated funds.
December-Sherry Hickman called to be Joy's Organist to replace Bob Perinchief who was leaving as Organist and Choir Director of December 31st


Sherry Hickman was hired as Organist for Joy (Associate in Ministry).


Pastor Marvin Seemann leaves as interim Pastor of Joy Lutheran Church.
June-Pastor Edward Holloway, Jr. was called to be the new Pastor for Joy Lutheran Church.
July 14-The Installation of Pastor Edward Holloway, Jr. was held at Joy.


Fran Johnson became Joy's Administrative Assistant.


April 1st at 2pm Joy held the Ordination and Installation of Pastor Sean L. Forde as Joy's Assistant Pastor.
October-Blessing the Animals event was started. The Righteous Roundup was held, Joy had a dunk tank, bounce house, dance floor, and of course food.


April-Joy gets involved in Lutheran World Relief Coffee Project, starts using and selling coffee for this charitable effect to help farmers make a living.
April-Joy's sculpture "The Risen Christ" is refurbished
May-For the past eight years, Joy's LMM has helped deliver Mother's Day flowers for Linda's Enchanted Florist before Mother's Day as one of their fundraising projects. Joy's LMM adopt a local road to help keep it clean for the DOT. The road is SW 60th Ave. between SW 95th St. and SW 80th St.
September 25-Joy's First Stephen Ministry Sunday is held.
October 29-Joy's Animal Blessing this year was officiated by Pastor William Rosenow.
November 6- Joy's 22nd Congregational Meeting was held for budget year 2012.


September 1 - Melissa Daniel became our Handbell Director
September 8 - JOY hires new Administrative Assistant Zsuzsanna



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