In L.A., Miami, or wherever the Lord allows

Lutheran schools share Christ and welcome children into God’s family — in L.A., Miami or wherever the Lord allows. The challenges are different. The situations change. But God is faithful to His promises, and Lutheran schools continue to teach God’s Word.

At Pacific Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School in Gardena, “we try to keep the Lutheran ethos,” said the Rev. Bruce von Hindenburg, pastor of The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Inglewood, California, who teaches religion and leads chapel for Pacific. “I try to make sure they are hearing the purity of the Lutheran doctrine, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“We are the most — or at least one of the most — ethnically diverse schools in the Synod,” said Principal Lucas Fitzgerald. “Our student body is 25 percent white, 25 percent Hispanic, 25 percent African-American and 25 percent Asian.” This reflects the diversity of L.A. Not only is there ethnic diversity among students, there are few lifelong Lutherans.

Over the last two years, 10 students have been baptized at the school and are being cared for by local LCMS pastors and congregations.

Most people come to Miami because of the beaches and the weather. But the people at Holy Cross Lutheran School, North Miami, stay because it’s a family. The student body is almost 90 percent Haitian, reflecting the neighborhood surrounding the school. Though the property is across the street from the public high school and middle school, many non-Lutherans choose to send their children to Holy Cross.Principal Sherri Mackey, who grew up in the neighborhood, commented that many parents seek a safe place for their children that will also provide a quality education. Holy Cross does that and even more. Here, the children learn about God’s love in Christ.

“I’ll never leave this school. I’m gonna stay here ’til I’m 100,” quipped first-grader Sebastian Papillon. “I love this school.”

“A lot of people have been here a long time,” said Beverly Thompson, a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, who teaches in addition to serving as the athletic director. “We are a very close-knit group.”

Want to learn more about these two schools? See the Engage magazine story at

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