St. Philip Lutheran Church, probably best known as the small Trenton church in the woods off Fort Street between Harrison and King, has welcomed a new pastor, Branden Hunt, who began a two-year internship in August.
According to church officials, Hunt came from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Members of St. Philip say they feel that this is an answer to prayer and are so excited to have him as their pastor to help grow St. Philip’s ministry.
“My faith has been shaped most at Stony Lake, a Christian summer camp run through Living Water Ministries,” Hunt said. “During my seven summers at Stony Lake Camp, I served as a counselor, program director, and co-camp director. Each summer helped my faith to grow by seeing young people learn about God. Seeing young people embrace the message of Christ at camp constantly reminds me of God’s hands at work.”
Hunt grew up in Detroit, the son of an American Indian father and German/Polish mother. With the encouragement of family and friends, he felt called to the ministry.
As part of his formal seminary training, Hunt attended numerous Synod Assemblies, church council meetings, and, most recently, a Lutheran World Federation meeting in Surname, in South America, where he met with bishops and key leaders from Lutheran churches throughout the world.
Church officials said Hunt brings many unique gifts and talents to his ministry and feels he has been sent by the church to teach, provide spiritual guidance to people, and be a pillar to the community.
St. Philip Lutheran Church is a relatively small church with a very large social ministry footprint. For example, St. Philip’s food pantry serves about 300 people per month and distributes over 20,000 pounds of food annually to needy people and families. It has just merged with the Trenton Food Pantry, which closed after 46 years.
Last year St. Philip’s Yarn Ministry continued to knit and crochet items like prayer shawls, afghans, preemie caps and blankets, winter hats, scarves and mittens for children, and baby blankets for crisis pregnancy centers and low-income parents, bandages for a leper colony in Vietnam, afghans to honor graduates, and “send-off” blankets for people and families who move to a new location.
Since 2013 the group has knitted or crocheted more than 2,000 such items for needy people. St. Philip also runs a preschool that officials describe as an affordable, safe, loving, Christian setting for children to learn and grow. St. Philip has run a Giving Tree Program for more than 37 years that provides food and gifts to needy families at Christmas and it offers Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous services five nights a week.
Other social ministries include: Christnet overnight volunteers and meals, Feed the Hungry in Monroe Program, Foster Closet of Michigan, and the Downriver Food Pantry in Wyandotte.
All are invited to come and feel the Holy Spirit at work in St. Philip’s worship services Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. For more information about the many ministries of St. Philip Lutheran Church or to learn more about how to get involved, call (734) 676-7141 or visit the church’s website at http://stphilipelca.org.