Gather. Grow. Go.

Our Pastors

Pastors Hauser & Schmidt

Rev. Erik R. Schmidt, Lead Pastor

First things first: I haven’t always been a pastor. In fact, I haven’t always wanted to be a pastor. I spent the first thirty-plus years of my life wondering what I was meant to do: where did God want me, what was I good at, how could I provide for my family?

I just never saw myself as “that” kind of person. I wasn’t holy enough, didn’t pray enough, didn’t read my Bible enough, wasn’t “good” enough. When some things in my life started spinning wildly, I had a conversation with my pastor, and he suggested I go to seminary. I laughed at first, but was shocked to find out he was serious. The most important thing he told me was, “God doesn’t call you to be anybody else. If God calls you, it’s because He wants to use you.” I knew I couldn’t be “that” person, but I was pretty sure I could be me

I was ordained in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in 2011, at age 36. I have been blessed to serve two wonderful churches since then, and I am so thankful to be here at Peace. Peace is an awesome place that welcomes people as they are, but commits to growing as people together. I like to say, “Come as you are, but don’t stay that way.”

I am even more blessed to be the husband of an incredible wife and the father of three amazing children, one of whom was called home to heaven at age six. He will always be a part of our family, even as we learn to live without him.

I was raised in the LCMS, but spent my early adulthood in nearly every Christian denomination (and non-denomination) before returning. I like to say that I don’t believe what I believe because I’m Lutheran; I am Lutheran because of what I believe. I used to think the denomination you belong to didn’t matter, but while Lutherans do not have a monopoly on salvation, I now firmly believe that being taught the Truth matters far more than being entertained or comfortable. Because I believe that the LCMS is the most faithful in its approach to biblical teaching (read it, believe it, then seek to understand it), I find my home here. Because I want others to hear God’s Truth and see its timeless Truth for themselves, I walk in this calling of Pastor.

In the past, I have half-jokingly called myself a “Renegade Lutheran Pastor.” I mean nothing more by this than that I am first and foremost a believer in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh, as revealed to us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit through His written Word, the Bible. I have never been very interested in topics like which hymnal we should be using. I can worship with vestments, pulpits and pipe organs, or drums, blue jeans and banjos. In fact, I very much believe that faithful ministry and worship style are uniquely contextual to each congregation and the community within which it is called to serve: which presentation has the greatest positive effect on those who are there to hear the Gospel, and which will appeal most to those who aren’t there yet? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves as Pastors, rather than evaluating the actions of others within their contexts (Matthew 7:3).

I believe that humor, honesty and integrity are essential to being a pastor. I believe that real discipleship means being real, being yourself, and being thankful that you are forgiven in and by Jesus Christ. That also means being more forgiving of others.

I have three degrees with a bunch of letters behind them, and have previously taught collegiate courses in philosophy and religion, worked in retail management, and dabbled in several other “odd jobs” along the way. I am a devoted fan of Detroit’s “Big Four” professional sports teams, especially my beloved Lions. I look forward to meeting you, in person or online!

Click here to read more from Pastor Erik!

Rev. Matthew Hauser, School Pastor & Principal

Bio coming soon! Click here to read more about Pastor Hauser’s journey!