Children know that October 31 is Halloween and the day that they dress up in frightening costumes and get a ton of delicious candy. That day, however, means something entirely different to Lutherans. October 31 is the day that the Protestant Reformation began. This past anniversary held special significance for the mostly Lutheran population of Hutchinson, Minnesota. This year on October 31, it was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
This event called for a major celebration, so the Lutheran churches decided to unite for an evening that they called “A Mighty Fortress: A Celebration in Song Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.” It was held at Christ the King Lutheran Church on October 29 of this year.
The lead pastor of the church Reverend Mark Richardson thought that they should plan something as a way of commemorating the important day. The Reverend sent an email to each Lutheran church in the area, and the plans for a special event took off from there.
Christ the King’s music director Brandon Begnaud described the evening as a “hymn sing” because the congregation was invited to join in on the program’s singing. Each pastor participated in the event by reciting the history of each hymn that was presented that night.
Hymns sung at the beginning and the end of the program were those written by Martin Luther. The first one was Luther’s Reformation Hymn entitled “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” and its history was read by Reverend Marlaine Doidge.
The last musical piece was sung by the entire choir, and it was a hymn written by Luther entitled “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” This song is an appropriate ending because it is known as the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation.”
Most Lutherans are familiar with this particular hymn, but Begnaud and the director of music and worship Paul Cravens arranged the music specifically for the concert. For that reason, they believed that they needed the Reverend Brian Nehring to share its history. This was the first time that the music directors worked together, and they dedicated five weeks to completing the project.
The concert is not the only way that this anniversary has been commemorated. In September, PBS aired “Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World,” and it explains Martin Luther and the impact that he and his ideas have had on the world. It seems that one version of this movie was not enough for this spectacular event because there are at least two other versions that are ready to be viewed. The movie was also shown in the theater on November 5 of this year.
The Reverend Kevin Oster stated that scientists believe that Martin Luther is one of the most influential people in the entire world. He has influenced everybody in government circles as well as those within the church.
About the Reformation
Martin Luther was an ordained priest and professor of theology who went to Rome to visit the Roman Catholic Church in 1511. He became disillusioned when he witnessed all of the corruption that was taking place at that time. The practice that offended him the most was the purchasing of indulgences that forgave people’s sins and freed them from purgatory. In response to these excesses, Martin Luther wrote “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” and posted it on a German Church’s door on October 31, 1517. Martin Luther was challenging the Catholic Church’s power to save and it caused an uproar that could be heard around the world.
About Mighty Fortress Church
The elders at Mighty Fortress Church invite anyone who is seeking to go deeper into his or her relationship with Christ to come in for a visit. This includes those who want to broaden their knowledge of Christ as well as those who don’t know anything about Christianity. The church assures people who have gotten out of the habit of attending church on a regular basis that its services are different. Rather than promote a very formal atmosphere, the people at Mighty Fortress Church encourage everyone to come to the services in the manner that they feel comfortable.
Mighty Fortress takes advantage of the chance that it has to bring many people together under one roof. When this occurs, they impart practical biblical teachings to help congregants live Christian lives. Whenever anyone has difficult questions and cannot find the answers, they have a safe place to ask at Mighty Fortress Church. The services are authentic and offer congregants inspirational messages that help them live to the best of their abilities.
Your background doesn’t matter to the people at Mighty Fortress Church. If you live in the neighborhood, you are welcome to stop by and take part in the services. That means that anyone of any race or ethnicity will be welcomed with open arms.
About Bishop Thomas Williams
Bishop Thomas Williams is the senior pastor and the founder of Mighty Fortress International Church and Ministries. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from North Central University in Mass Communications. He earned his Master of Arts degree from Bethel University and Seminary in Organizational Leadership. He also has two Honorary Doctorate degrees from St. Thomas College and Midwest Christian College & Seminary. He received his ministerial training from Rhema Bible Training Center.
Bishop Williams is married to Mrs. Sabrina R. Grant-Williams, and they have three children. The family is dedicated to God, each other and the Mighty Fortress Church.