Tonawanda, N.Y. (WIVB) - A group of Lutherans broke away from the Augustana Lutheran church in Tonawanda and its denomination.
The former head pastor at Augustana, Troy Mulvaine said the whole church recently voted about whether they'd leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They needed two-thirds of the church to vote yes in order to leave the denomination, but they were four votes shy.
The pastor and congregants followed their hearts and left.
“The church started suggesting the scriptures didn't have authority anymore” said Rev. Troy Mulvaine, Pastor of the Church of the Apostles, Lutheran. “So it was up to your interpretation. You can interpret it one way. I can interpret it one way somebody else and there's no norm. We believe that the Bible is the norm of our life. That's God's word to me."
“We're here to follow the word as it should be followed” said Kathleen Klaskov, a member of the new church.
So far about 120 former members of the Augustana church have let. On Sunday, some of them gathered at home in Tonawanda for their first service. The new church is called the Church of the Apostles, Lutheran. Pastor Mulvaine said they’ll hold service there until they find a permanent building.
“We'll find something soon. That's the message we want to get out. We'll find other people who are interested in what we're doing. Somebody out there's got a space and it's just sitting there. The Lord will show us where it is” said Pastor Mulvaine.
Members of the old congregation at Augustana Lutheran Church said an interim pastor will be coming in to help them with the healing and rebuilding process. They said they wish the new church all the best.
In fact those same sentiments were passed along from members of the new church to the old as well.
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