The Rev. David L. Thiele
I was born in Chicago, IL. and am the oldest of 5 siblings. My father was transferred or changed jobs during my formative years. We lived in the following states: Illinois, Michigan (the U.P.), New Jersey, Alabama and Louisiana. This prepared me to spend all my years in ministry in the non geographical English District.
I was married to Patricia in June 1977 and we were blessed with 4 children.
I was ordained and installed into the ministry on April 4, 1981 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chicago, Illinois. At this congregation we were known for our Vacation Bible School of over 200 children. We also added a Preschool and Kindergarten which caused the congregation to grow rapidly.
In July of 1988 I accepted the call to Christ Lutheran Church, Lansing, Michigan. I experienced so many joys at Christ Lutheran
Christ Community Kitchen continues to serve a full meal every Saturday from 11:30 – 12:30 with more than 150,000 people being fed. Some of the other activities we developed were: a rotating sanctuary for homeless women and children, a computer center for at risk children, and a summer lunch programs for children. These activities and others like them built many bridges into the community. We had a very strong youth program and monthly concerts called the “Underground”. This music attracted more than 100 young people. In fact it got so large that it was closed down by the fire marshal. The young people attended Bible classes and a variety of worship services. This whole ministry began by using a capital funds style program. This small congregation raised $165,000 to start this ministry, which was above and beyond their normal offerings.
Beginning in 2000 we saw enormous growth through outreach to African refugees. Nearly 40% of the worshipping community is new people to the United States. They come from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Ivory Coast and Burundi.
From 2000 to 2002 we raised $120,000 for a learning center called the Refugee Development Center. This Center helps new refugees to the United States learn life skills needed to succeed. You can find out more about this center at www.refugeedevelopmentcenter.org.
On January 15, 2007 I accepted the “call” as Executive Assistant to the President for Missions of the English District. I am enjoying the new opportunities the Lord has given to me. It is my mission to bring Jesus Christ to people from all walks of life. The major emphasis of the mission work in the English District is the Transformation/Revitalization of congregations and new mission starts.
In 2012 I accepted the call to the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF). In this position I serve congregations in the area of finances and stewardship education. LCEF provides loans to congregations and the Rostered Church Workers of the LCMS. LCEF also provides investment products to congregations and individuals of the LCMS. In addition to providing these services, I help congregations and their members grow in the joy of generosity. I also help congregations with capital campaigns and their annual stewardship education.