Who We Are
Our mission is to share Christ's love through ministry and media.
Lutheran Ministries Media, Inc. produces a weekly, 30-minute Lutheran broadcast worship service called Worship Anew. Each service includes music, scripture readings, prayers, and a pastor delivering a message that is designed to feel one-on-one to the viewer. Each program is closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.
Weekly programs are distributed in three different ways: first, through the purchase of airtime on local TV stations and the TCT network cable satellite broadcast station, second, a DVD subscription, and thirdly, through webcasts that can be found and viewed on our homepage. For more information, click here.
Since 1980, Lutheran Ministries Media, Incorporated in Fort Wayne, Indiana has broadcast weekly worship services for those who seek to hear the message of God's Word; but the weekly televised worship service, that we now know as Worship Anew, has a beginning that started over 50 years ago. The program began with a pastor from Iowa, Rev. Oswald Henry Bertram, who had a vision for using technology to reach those in need of Christ’s love and salvation.
Shortly following a move to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio in 1964, Bertram approached a local television station about creating a televised weekly worship service, ultimately convincing them to produce Worship for Shut-Ins. The program was filmed at WSPD-TV in Toledo and first aired in 1965.
The program enjoyed over a decade of successful broadcast until the Lord called Pastor Bertram home as a result of cancer in May of 1979. As a result, production of Worship for Shut-Ins ceased, leaving a tremendous void.
Soon thereafter, this void came to the attention of Minister of Education Ray Huebschman, Senior Pastor Jim Stalder, and Assistant Pastor John Westra of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. Taking into consideration the needs of the shut-ins in their own congregation, as well as the shut-in population of Fort Wayne as a whole, the congregational leaders decided to bring the challenge of restarting the television ministry to their congregation.
The congregation of Holy Cross came together, along with a grant from the Ranke Foundation, and provided the necessary funding to form Lutheran Ministries Media and bring Worship for Shut-Ins back to life and back on the air. Ray Huebschman then became executive director of the newly formed Lutheran Ministries Media in 1980.
On October 5, 1980, WPTA Channel 21 broadcast Worship for Shut-Ins for the first time from Fort Wayne, Indiana, with Pastor Stalder of Holy Cross Lutheran Church preaching the inaugural sermon. In subsequent broadcasts, Pastors Stalder and Westra shared the responsibilities of delivering the messages on Worship for Shut-Ins, inviting other Lutheran community pastors to preach on the program occasionally as well.
The format of the new Worship for Shut-Ins television worship program remained similar to Rev. Bertram’s original design. The services included scripture passages appropriate for each specific Sunday in the church year; prayers; music by choirs, instrumentalists, and soloists; and a message geared toward the needs of the shut-in viewer, all of which remains the case to this day.
The staff of Holy Cross, along with the other supporters of the ministry, couldn’t have been happier with the response the program received—in its beginning and steadily increasing as time went on. Channel 21 expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the programs. Letters of appreciation and kind words from viewers all over indicated how needed and well loved the broadcast truly was—and this was only the beginning, from Fort Wayne alone.
In October of 2003 Ken Schilf, formerly the minister of Christian education at Holy Cross since 1985, became the executive director of Lutheran Ministries Media.
Although Holy Cross Lutheran Church had been home to the ministry for more than two decades, the ministry’s growth soon necessitated a move to a larger facility. An $800,000 construction project soon began on Concordia Theological Seminary Campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, funded by major donations from the Rossman and Wolf families, the Lutheran Foundation, and a Worship for Shut-Ins Global Mission Fund. On April 28, 2009, Lutheran Ministries Media broke ground on their new facilities: the Elsie Rossman Media Center and Wolf Chapel. The opening of the facilities was celebrated in October of 2010.
In 2014 Ken Schilf retired and Matthew Leighty became executive director. Over time the weekly television program has experienced tremendous growth. As the ministry concluded the 50th Anniversary of Worship for Shut-Ins and began to prepare for the next decades of ministry, the Board of Directors of Lutheran Ministries Media launched an intensive study in 2016 to better understand their viewers. After thorough research and prayerful consideration, the Board of Directors of Lutheran Ministries Media announced that the weekly televised service Worship for Shut-Ins would become known as Worship Anew, as of Sunday, December 3, 2017.
An essential part of the ministry's history has been the people who support it. From flowers to cameras, soundboards and mailings, from preaching to prayers, none of it would have been possible from the beginning until now without God’s providence in the form of their dedicated pastors, supporters, staff, and volunteers.
Today, Worship Anew reaches thousands of people each week across the nation and around the world via television stations, the DVD subscription program, as well as by making the program available online.
Over the 50 plus years, and the ministry's dedicated staff and supporters have touched the lives of countless viewers around the world. They look forward to the continuation and expansion of this ministry in the years to come. Lutheran Ministries Media would like to thank you for your prayers and your support of God’s work through Worship Anew.