Partnership Impacts Urban Ministry5 min read

Pictured l-r: Ray Zavada, Ron Steinke, Rev. Dean Wachholz, Rev. Chris Bodley, President David P.E. Maier 

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:4-6 NIV).

In these verses, we read that Paul prayed with joy when the Philippians joined together with him to share the Gospel, and in doing so, together sought to extend the Gospel to others. This is a wonderful illustration of what a partnership can accomplish.

The Partnering Organizations

The Michigan District recently was privileged to become part of a partnership that will also have a significant impact on the sharing of the Good News of the Gospel.

This partnership occurred when two outstanding organizations of the Church – the Church Extension Fund (CEF) of the Michigan District, LCMS and the Lutheran Legacy Foundation (LLF) – took huge steps in faith to help insure that the Gospel is shared through the Michigan District’s Acts 2 Enterprise (A2E) ministry in Detroit.

Each organization working independently, but with knowledge of how the decision of one organization affected the decision of the other, both agreed to grant the Michigan District $150,000 to support the A2E initiative under the leadership of Rev. Christopher Bodley.

In Their Own Words

Upon hearing the commitment made by CEF and LLF, Pastor Bodley responded, “I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Mr. Ron Steinke and the Board of CEF and Rev. Jerry Klug and the Board of LLF for their spiritual and financial boldness to each award A2E a $150,000 grant. Your contributions will empower us to execute a holistic mission and strategy in the urban setting. I thank God for your partnership in the Gospel. Confidence will be established, self-images will be improved, and destinies will be enhanced among the residents of Detroit because of your compassion and faithful contribution.”

[Tweet “”Contributions will empower [@A2Enterprise] to execute a holistic mission and strategy in the urban setting.””]

Ron Steinke, CEF president, shared why CEF took this step in faith and partnered with A2E. “The CEF mission statement recites in part, ‘…partnering Christians to make resources available…in carrying out the Great Commission.’ Our denomination has lost its foothold in the city and it’s time, through the A2E initiative, to find new avenues in which to reach people with the saving Gospel message as our Lord commanded. CEF is honored to partner with the Michigan District and the Lutheran Legacy Foundation with which we have been entrusted, to reach out for the blessing of many.

[Tweet “”It’s time, through @A2Enterprise, to find new avenues to reach people with the saving Gospel message””]

Rev. Dean Wachholz, who serves on the Board of Directors of the LLF, which is based in Paris, Ill., explained why his organization also chose to invest in the ministry of A2E: “The Lutheran Legacy Foundation is delighted and honored to be partnering with the Church Extension Fund of the Michigan District, LCMS in support of the Michigan District’s Acts 2 Enterprise, a ‘backyard’ mission project that invests in the city of Detroit, remembering the significance that the Detroit churches played in the early history of the LCMS and the Michigan District. Just as Jesus formed a team, and was bold to move the Gospel ahead, so is LLF thankful for the Michigan District offering us the privilege to match the CEF grant, a longtime supporter of the people of God in Michigan.”

Bold Partnerships Make a Huge Impact

These two organizations coming together to support the A2E ministry in its early years of formation provides an excellent example of what can be accomplished for the Kingdom when people and organizations boldly come together and rally around a cause centered on sharing the Gospel.

Both grants will be distributed in the same descending manner over a three-year period; $75,000 from each in 2013, $50,000 from each in 2014, and $25,000 from each in 2015 for a total distribution of $300,000 over the three-year period.

“As we continue the vision for and implementation of the Michigan District A2E Urban Ministry Initiative, our prayer is that God will continue to bless Rev. Chris Bodley and Rev. Roosevelt Gray in this bold mission effort to help revitalize parts of Detroit,” Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President, Michigan District, LCMS.



The process of A2E involves training indigenous leaders to be disciples who will engage their spheres of influence in the community. Leaders from local congregations are being equipped to conduct community surveys, use technology to extend their presence and effectiveness, and work in collaboration with a cluster of LCMS congregations so that the overall body of Christ would accomplish their goals as one.



The A2E Summer Sports Camp was held August 12-16, 2013 at Chandler Park in Detroit, MI. Full Story > 


In Detroit, where 36.2 percent of the people live below the poverty level and the median household income is $27,862, Missionary-at-Large for A2E Rev. Christopher Bodley [pictured] is working alongside the LCMS churches in Detroit to bring about transformation and hope.

If you would like to provide financial support to the A2E ministry, please contact Mr. Ray Zavada at or call the Michigan District Development Department at 888.225.2111, or mail your donation to: Development Department; Michigan District, LCMS; 3773 Geddes Road; Ann Arbor MI 48105. Please write A2E on the memo line. 

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About the Author

Ray is the Michigan District Assistant to the President - Development

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