Mt. Pisgah

Lutheran Church

9379 Hwy 127 North

Hickory, NC  28601

(Bethlehem Community)

Phone:  828-495-8251

Fax:  828-495-8252

Worship:  8:00 and 10:30 AM

(Nursery provided)

Sunday School:  9:15 AM

(For all ages)

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 Worship  8 & 10 :30 AM

Nursery provided

Light breakfast 9:00 AM

The Story Program 9:15 AM

for all ages



 Prayer Group  7:00-7:30 AM

Bible Study  8:30-9:30 AM

 Dinner  5:30-6:20 PM

Bible Study  6:15-7:30 PM

Confirmation & KIC  6:20-7:30 PM

Adult Choir  7:00-8:00 PM


Lenten Service, Mar 27

Meal 5:15-6:15 PM

Service at 6:30 PM


Lenten Service, Apr 3

Meal 5:15-6:15 PM

Service at 6:30 PM


Boyscout Fundraiser, Apr 6

Beginning at 12:00 PM

Chicken BBQ or Hotdog plates


Youth Drama, Apr 7

Sunday, 8:00 & 10:30 AM


Lenten Service, Apr 10

Meal 5:15-6:15 PM

Service at 6:30 PM


First Communion, Apr 13

Saturday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Upper Room


Palm Sunday, Apr 14

Choir Cantata 8 & 10:30 AM

Easter Egg Hunt 9-9:30 AM

The Story Program to follow


Maundy Thursday, Apr 18

Seder Meal & Service

6:30 PM, Celebration Hall


Good Friday, Apr 19

6:30 PM, Sanctuary


Easter Sunday, Apr 21

8:00 & 10:30 AM


Confirmation Sunday, May 5

8:00 & 10:30 AM


Mother's Day, May 12

8:00 & 10:30 AM


God & Country, May 19

8:00 & 10:30 AM

































September Devotions from Pastor

151 years is an amazing span of time to envision and grasp.  In that time Mt. Pisgah witnessed or participated in a Civil War, the Great Depression and two World Wars and the horiffic tragedy of 9/11 2001.  Through the ups and downs of history around us and within our church history, God has always been faithful and present.

So, ponder with me for a moment all the history made in those three buildings which were called Mt. Pisgah, and more importantly with the people of Mt. Pisgah.  The thousands of gatherings to celebrate Word and Sacrament and the countless covered dish fellowship times—second to none!  In my brief snapshot of time within this history of Mt. Pisgah, I think of many things, but primarily that this is a place of grace and warmth.

To walk into the sancturary is to see the shape of a wooden boat—reminding us of God

  • who saves from the flood;
  • who calms the rough seas with an outstretched arm; and
  • who left the crowd on the shores to proclaim a word of grace.

To walk into the sancturary is to see wood carvings of mountain top journeys.  It is on the mountain tops that God has always showed up to His people in a big way.  To all who come here it is easy to see that the God of yesterday and today has “shown up” in amazing ways.

He has revealed Himself in the past faithful planting of a church by Abraham Boliek and in the present by God's faithful people building an addition in respone to Patriarch Abraham's call that we are “Blessed to be a Blessing.” (Genesis 12)

It is impossible in this Grace-place called Mt. Pisgah, not to be inspired by the gifts shared by all seen in: wood working, furniture, stained glass, mosaic, memorials and landscaping.  The people here have left their mark and most importantly realize that they are gifted in order to share their gifts.

So how, in quick summary, would you share what it means to be part of this special church?

Would it be …..

  •  the sense of generosity in outreach?
  •  the sense of pride in our facility?
  •  the sense of gracious warmth in fellowship?
  •  the sense of expectancy in our worship?

It is hard to say what one would highlight and treasure the most.  But there is not doubt that we are the sum total today of all that has preceded us in the past.  The faithful pioneers of yesterday have given us a legacy of hope to move forward into the unknown frontier of the future.  What motivated and inspired them is identical to what gives us encouragement today.  That is, finally, that we are of all things most grateful to the One that we can always count on, whose changeless grace and love is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.

Soli Deo Gloria

To Him be the glory,

Pastor Mike



Devotions for July 20-31

“Be Still and Know That I Am God”   Psalm 46:10 

What a blessing it has been to take our youth to work-camp again.  They worked hard in building, mulching and putting on V.B.S. for migrant worker families.  The daily trip to the work site from Eckerd College was about 40 minutes each day. Every afternoon my car was packed with noisy kids competing with the loud music heard even outside their ear buds.  But without fail, after about 10 minutes on the return trip, their hard work under the Florida sun had taken its toll.  Every one of those highly animated teens collapsed like deflated rag dolls construed in all kinds of positions in the welcome silence of sleep. In my rearview mirror, it  was a sight to behold,  and one to savor for the moment since this stillness would not last long.   The radio could be heard in this quiet moment  and this was the song I heard.  

                                “Word of God Speak” 

                   I'm finding myself at a loss for words

                   And the funny thing is it's okay

                   the last thing I need is to be heard

                   but to hear what You would say 


                   Word of God speak

                   Would You pour down like rain

                   Washing my eyes to see

                   Your majesty

                   to be still and know

                   That You're in this place

                   Please let me stay and rest

                   In Your holiness

                   Word of God speak 

                   I'm finding myself in the midst of You

                   Beyond the music, beyond the noise

                   All that I need is to be with You 

                   And in the quiet hear Your voice. 

As someone has said we live in “noisy times” when everyone has much to say about everything.

We have political pundits on all sides ranting and raving.

We have righteous indignation expressed over what seems to be jilted justice in the Anthony case.

We have frustration and disappointment over senators, governors, sports figures and coaches who let us down over and over.

Much can and is said about all of this but in truth there is usually more fire then light.  Sometimes there is no word appropriately able to capture and express all that we think or feel.

In my own life I have regretted many words emotively and hastily spoken but I have never regretted the choice of silence.  

It is precisely in the cacophony of noise vying for our attention that we really can appreciate God's silence.  The One who tells us that it is in the stillness that we can best find and hear Him.

In all my frustrated desires for God to have an audible voice and a verbal  answer  to my every plea, it is true that what I  really need is His silent listening.  It is far more precious to have our Father's undivided attention when we speak than to be interrupted by one more loud voice.  And it is so often in His silent response that we hear the real answer. 

Our God is like that—a still small voice which can easily be drowned out by this loud and noisy world which thinks it has more important things to say.  It is no wonder that Daniel characterized God at the end of times as the Ancient of Days who waits quietly as the Anti Christ verbally accosts in rants and raves.  Our Lord modeled this same quiet confidence before both the Jewish and Romans authorities at His Passion, as they mistakenly assumed that they would have the last loud word against our Lord's persistent silence. 

So in this noisy hurried world and particularly  this summer, I hope you can find some great quiet space and time to listen for God's still small voice.  And in His silence to know that true love - truly listens. 

                   from all wavelengths

                          “Be Still and Know.....

                   Surround sound,

                   bombarded by

                   chatter and clatter

                   clamoring for attention


                   to open a soul

                   or lend an ear to.

                   If that verbiage

                   of selfish agendas, political nuances

                   and subtle labels,

                   would be expunged

                    and exorcised from all sound.


                   would fill up space

                   and empty noises would be swallowed with silence.

                   And in that haunting but refreshing stillness

                   we would know

                   that then and only then is

                   there room to





Devotions for the week of June 20 and June 27

– this preacher got so long winded this will serve for 2 weeks for the 20th and 27th  :)

(We invite you to join with us Sunday for Sunday School as we dig into the Psalms together in Phillip Yancey book “The Bible Jesus Read.”)

Though we do not think of it much, The Old Testament  was the only scripture that Jesus had to read or reference.  Even the Apostle Paul's early admonition to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God—breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuilding, correcting and training in righteousness,” was referring first to the Old Testament.

In many ways we need to unlock some of the mysteries in the Old Testament to fully understand all to the truths in the New.  In Yancey's book we will look in depth at 5 particular Old Testament books.  Oswald Chambers commented on each of these books—The Psalms teach us how to pray; Job teaches us how to suffer,  Song of Solomon teaches you how to love, Proverbs teaches you how to live and Ecclesiastes teaches one how to enjoy life.

More than anything else  the Old Testament is a reminder of God's grace.  He chose a people and a nation (Israel) not because of their worthiness but most often in spite of their  weakness and challenges.

Just look at the leaders he picked, “Abraham pimped for his wife, Jacob cheated his brother, Moses murdered, David murdered and committed adultery both—yet all of these ended up on God's list of favorites. Jacob got his new name Israel (God-struggler) after an all-night wrestling match with God, and ever since the name of God's people has harkened back to that contest. God's people are, literally, the children of struggle.  God has it out with loud complainers like Job, Jeremiah, and Jonah.  He engages Abraham and Moses in lengthy arguments—and sometimes lets them win!  In his wrestling match with Jacob, God waits until daybreak to inflict the wound; till then Jacob holds his own.  Quite obviously, God prefers honest disagreement to dishonest submission.  He takes human beings seriously, conducts dialogues with them, includes them in his plans, listen to them”

That is a grace we should never take for granted and a grace we all need


We thank you for wanting an authentic real relationship with us. Thank you for loving us and being gracious to us so much that we can be true and honest about all of our feelings and struggles. There is no other way you would want us to speak to You than as to our Best Friend.


In Jesus name we pray



Devotion for the Week of June 13th 

Since we have just begun the season of Pentecost let's continue our theme of the Holy Spirit.  Hope you will have a blessed week:

The Holy Spirit warms the cold and brings the distant close.  Recently I ran across a parable that makes that point: 

Once upon a time there was a piece of iron, which was very strong and very hard.  Many attempts had been made to break it, but all had failed.

“I'll master it,” said the axe.....and his blows fell heavily upon the piece of iron, but every blow only made the axe's edge more blunt, until it finally ceased to strike and gave up in frustration.

“Leave it to me,” said the saw....and it worked back and forth on the iron's surface until its jagged teeth were all worn and broken.  Then in despair, the saw quit trying and fell to the side.

“Ah!” said the hammer, “I knew you two wouldn't succeed.  I'll show you how to do this!”  But at the first fierce blow, off flew its head and the piece of iron remained just as before, proud and hard and unchanged.

“Shall I try?” asked the small soft flame.  “Forget it,” everyone else said.  “What can you do? You're too small and you have no strength.”  But the small soft flame curled around the piece of iron, embraced it....and never left it's side until it melted under its warm irresistible influence.

God's way is not our way of harsh coercion and force but of soft warmth and love. 

“Come Holy Spirit melt our hearts anew under the irresistible warmth of your gracious love.” In Jesus name we pray

John 17


Devotions for the week of June 6-12

This Sunday we celebrate the special day of Pentecost.  It was an amazing day when the Holy Spirit came to those first Christians.  It touched their lives and made them speak in languages unfamiliar to them but understandable to those around.  It was a memorable and potentially life changing day for all involved.

I have always wondered about the day after Pentecost.  After the wind died down and the flames of fire ceased; surely not everyone’s life was changed by the event. There were probably some who went on as business as usual even in the aftermath of such an extraordinary event.

It is an interesting thing about the Holy Spirit that it is often referred to as the “Silent Partner ” of the Trinity.  The dramatic action on Pentecost was an uncharacteristic display of power; namely to mark a new beginning –The Birthday of the Church. As Jesus said usually the Spirit is, like the Wind that you cannot see but can only notice the effects of its presence.

The Spirit is most often behind the scenes, as the marvelous hymn “Spirit of Gentleness” alludes.  The Spirit blows through our lives filling us with a restlessness and a void that only God can satisfy and fill. The Spirit does not force Itself on us anymore than the Father or Son do, they simply try to win us over by their love and grace.

Every encounter of our Lord is marked by this gentle loving Spirit at work.  He gives total freedom of acceptance or denial to the individuals involved, whether it is Nicodemus or the rich young ruler. Without exception there is not one encounter in which Jesus does not invite change but it is not always well received. You cannot make one love you or graciously accept a gift.  The Jewish Talmud puts it this way:  the Spirit of God gently surrounds a hardened heart so that when it cracks there is room for the Spirit to seep in.


Take my hard heart and soften it by your Spirit.  Make me always open to your Spirit of gentleness and love.  Fill me up with Yourself so that I may be an overflowing vessel spilling grace and love to all those around me. Amen

The Cost of Freedom

God has made it a rule for Himself that He won’t alter people’s character by force. He can and will alter them—but only if the people will let Him.  In that way He has really and truly limited His power. Sometimes we wonder why He has done so, or even wish that He hadn’t.  But apparently He thinks it worth doing.  He would rather have a world of free beings, with all its risks, than a world of people who did right like machines because they couldn’t do anything else.  The more we succeed in imagining what a world of perfect automatic beings would be like, the more, I think, we shall see His wisdom,

C.S. Lewis -from “The trouble with “X,” “God in the Dock”

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