A Historic Merger Under the Shadow of the Cross2 min read

On December 3, 2017, two Detroit churches, formerly known as Berea and Greenfield Peace, merged and formed Faith Lutheran Church, served by pastor Brian Dupre. (You can read the story of this merger here.)

In the meantime, another church—St. Paul, Farmington Hills—was seeking a way forward. They were being served by an Intentional Interim Pastor, Rev. Gary Siefert, and worked through a three-day intensive strategic planning process with their CMMF, Rev. Dr. Rob Kasper. From that, they realized that they needed to focus not on survival, but on getting into their community, yet they were hampered by nagging debt and an inward focus. With their school partnership (Concordia Lutheran School in association with Hosanna/Tabor) and facility expenses, they were seeking a way forward to be able to call a pastor. They needed a sustainable model,” explains Kasper.

At the same time, Faith, Detroit was looking for a permanent location to call home as a congregation. Pastors Siefert and Dupre met and began to have conversations about their respective congregations’ challenges. Over several months, various groups of lay leaders met to discuss the possibility of working together. The question has always been, “How can we best expand God’s Kingdom impact in our community through His church?” After much discussion and prayer, they decided to join forces and become a more effective instrument in God’s hand with a sustainable model for ministry.

A New Church Forms

Rev. Brian Dupre was installed on March 10, 2019 as the pastor of the newly formed Shadow of the Cross Lutheran Church, a merger of Faith and St. Paul congregations. He marvels at God’s working through seemingly unrelated events to build His kingdom. Dupre has had ties with all three congregations some way or another throughout his life: He had family members who worked at the school at Berea Lutheran Church in the 1950’s and 60’s and who were members there. Dupre himself grew up at Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church, but in the course of raising his own family, he attended St. Paul, Farmington Hills with his wife and kids.

Dupre says, “Little did I know that God would use a person who never aspired to be a pastor, who left Michigan to get away from the cold weather, and who had no experience bringing differing cultures together, to return to this state to do just that, merging all three of these churches. And now this congregation finds itself on the edge of something historic, created by the will of God. All glory, laud and honor to you, Lord of the Church. There is no one more amazed at what You have done than I.”

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This blog is published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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Rev. Gary Siefert - March 9, 2019

God’s blessings on Rev. Dupre & Shadow Of the Cross L.C.! I miss you all very much, Rev. Gary Siefert.

Calvin Cheritree - May 28, 2019

When, occasionally, my Mother and I attended what became Greenfield Peace Lutheran Church, it was called Jehovah Lutheran Church and was very nice. If I remember correctly, vis-a-vis the crucifix at our (then) home church, Victory Lutheran on Puritan, also in Detroit, there was a Corpus on their most impressive crucifix above the altar? Thank you for pleasant memories of 1950s-60 northwest Detroit.

Alice Iaconelli - March 11, 2021

Blessed 2nd Anniversary SOTC. We are so Blessed to have the Dupre family helping us to serve Our Lord! I am so Thankful that you are our Pastor! God’s richest Blessings on you & your Families & to us for bringing you into our fold!

Dale Doepker - May 16, 2021

I believe my grandfather Rev. Wilhelm Hartwig founded Jehovah Lutheran, and my family was members there before we moved to New Hudson. I believe my uncle was Supt of the Greenfield Peace School. We are still searching for information about Wilhelm’s son Steven, who was handicapped and died as a young child.

Thank you for leaving a comment on this blog! If you would like to confirm the family information you shared, please contact our District archivist at They may be able to help you out.

Barbara Laughlin Adler - June 14, 2021

Usually, when a congregation merges, all records are transferred to the new location. If you contact the office at Shadow of the Cross, they may be able to help with any questions. (248)474-0675