Living Word Lutheran Church began as a task force from St. John Lutheran Church in Rochester, Michigan. Some interested members believed there was a need for a new Lutheran Church in the Northern Rochester area. They were led by Tim Bode, Minister of Evangelism at St. John. They studied the needs of the area and decided a daughter congregation north of Rochester would be the best way to reach the unchurched in the area. About a year after beginning their task force, the group presented their ideas to the voters at St. John. It was decided to begin a new congregation north of the city. 


In October 1990, Pastor John Kassen was called to be Missionary-at-Large and Church Planter for St. John. He accepted the call and began meeting with the interested families in February of 1991. They began an in-home Bible Study group and planned for their future congregation. The name LIVING WORD FELLOWSHIP LUTHERAN CHURCH was decided upon. They met for about six months as their Bible Study group grew and then began having worship services in September 1991 at 10:15 AM on Sunday mornings at Phillip Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills. Mark Smith was elected the first Chairman of the congregation in July of 1991. An 8 AM Sunday service was added as the numbers grew. This service was eventually dropped in favor of a Saturday evening service. The Saturday evening service began in November 1993. 


In late 1993, the name of the church was changed to LIVING WORD LUTHERAN CHURCH to more clearly identify ourselves and our beliefs in this community. Living Word was accepted into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on December 13, 1992. Pastor Kassen was called by Living Word to become its first Pastor. He was installed on January 9, 1994. 


A joint building project was planned between Living Word and St. John. Living Word purchased property a the corners of Rochester and Gunn Rds. in Oakland Township. This is the site on which ground was broken in June of 1996 for Living Word Lutheran Church and Preschool and the North Campus of St. John Lutheran School. A fundraising program began in January 1995 called SHARING TO BUILD/BUILDING TO SHARE. 


The building was opened in September 1997. Living Word Preschool began. St. John’s K-3rd grades were also housed in the building. 


In September of 2002, Living Word School was established. That year we had just a kindergarten class. One teacher was hired. In September 2003, Grades 1-8th were added. 7 teachers were added to the staff of the school. 


Many spiritually exciting and fulfilling groups have developed at Living Word, including several Bible Study groups, Helping Hands, Middle School and High School Youth activities, Sunday morning children’s ministry (ABC – Adventure Bible Club, Kingdom Quest and currently, BUZZ), and confirmation classes. Discovery Classes are held twice a year which lead to membership at Living Word. 
The congregational decision to close the school was made in February of 2015. Although this was a difficult time for the families of the school and members of our church, we are grateful for the many years we were able to help children to grow in their faith in God.
After 24 years of wonderful service at Living Word, Pastor Kassen retired.
On February 7th, 2016, Rev. Gary Siefert was installed as our Intentional Interim Pastor.


God has truly blessed Living Word and with His grace and help, His people will continue to reach out with the love of Christ to the people in and around Rochester.
Living Word Lutheran Church 
PO Box 81967
Rochester, MI  48308 
Phone: 248.651.5316
Email: livingword@livword.net