Chris Spelbring was ordained and installed as the new pastor of First Lutheran Church of Venice on Sunday, July 17, marking the first ordination in its 66-year history.
Spelbring’s ordination was celebrated Sunday in a gathering at the church of over 200 and a dinner catered by Tony P’s Restaurant. Pastor Kenneth Frese, the former pastor of FLV, delivered the sermon at the celebration. Rev. Dr. Larry Stoterau, Pacific Southwest District President of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LC-MS), presided over the ordination.
“After returning to the Midwest to complete my seminary studies, I’m thrilled to be back in southern California. It was while living here in Los Angeles – and pursuing another career entirely – that I began to feel the call to ministry. Now that I’m back on the Westside, I look forward to serving our Venice community through our ministry at First Lutheran— whether it’s doing service work or meeting folks for coffee by the beach,” says Pastor Spelbring.
Christopher Allan Spelbring grew up in small towns across Illinois, and graduated from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2001. Upon graduation, he moved to Torrance, CA, to work as an engineer for Honeywell Aerospace. Chris worked for six years, primarily on commercial aircraft equipment and systems. In Los Angeles, he began attending UCLA University Lutheran Chapel. It was at the Chapel that he met his wife, Faith, who served as the Director of Christian Education from 2000-2007. With Faith’s support, the couple moved to St. Louis where Spelbring began seminary in 2007. He successfully completed all the requirements for graduation from Concordia Seminary and certification for ordination as a pastor in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod on June 30.
Chris and Faith have two daughters – Anna Grace (4 years) and Lily Katherine (2 years). He enjoys running, skiing, golf, music of all kinds, and is a devout St. Louis Cardinals fan.
First Lutheran Church of Venice
815 Venice Boulevard