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History

Highlights

• 1962 Parsonage and building site purchased; First service held at Valley Springs Community Center with 80 present

• 1963 Organization Sunday - January 20, 1963: constitution adopted, first council elected. Charter closed with 60 adults and 30 children.

• 1964 First Capital Fund Drive. Goal: $16,000. Pledged: $17,261.

• 1966 Dedication of new building

• 1979 Challenge begun for "New Decade - New Beginnings" for 2nd unit. Cost estimate: $430,519. Amt. spent: $379,894.

• 1981 First service in new unit. (August)

• 1983 Nativity Preschool started with 24 children enrolled

• 1987 Adjoining property bought for $45,000

• 1988 25th Anniversary Celebration: "Appreciation and Anticipation"

• 1991 Two worship services: 8:30 & 11:00 a.m.

• 1992 New mission statement & constitution/bylaws adopted

• 1993 30th Anniversary Celebration throughout the year

• 1996 Preschool program expanded to include limited summer program

• 1997 Nativity received Bishop's Award for Innovative Ministry

• 1998 35th Anniversary Celebration; Employed full-time Director of Youth, Family and Educational Ministries; Employed full-time Director of Music; Additional property bought for $80,000; Retained an architect to assist with facilities planning

• 1999 Retained Gronlund, Sayther, Brunkow (GSB) to conduct feasibility study to determine level of congregational support; Employed additional staff in music ministry; Retained GSB to conduct Capital Fund Campaign.

• 2000 Faithful Living+Thankful Giving Stewardship/Building Campaign; "Brown" house demolished; Retained Craig, Gaulden and Davis, Inc., Greenville, SC, as architects for new addition.

• 2001 $1,342,864 contract to Potter-Shackelford Construction Co., of Greenville, SC. Groundbreaking: September 2, 2001. Entered into Internship program. Stephen Ministry program began. Hired first Cantor - C Richard Morris; celebrated Nativity's 38th anniversary with the Rev. Dr. Thomas N. Colley (4th pastor) as guest preacher.

• 2002 First class of Stephen Ministers commissioned.

• 2002 Worshiped in new building - fellowship hall June-August. Aug. 18, 2002 was first Sunday in renovated nave. Landscape Committee established.

• 2003 Pastor Sara Ilderton called as second pastor. October-November $25,000 landscape project completed.

• 2004 Began three Sunday worship services: 8:15, 9:45 & 11:15

• 2005 WOW Wednesday night activities begun

• 2006 Called Amy Huacani as pastor for youth and family ministry and Latino outreach in partnership with NC Synod. Purchased 3.65 acres to increase total acreage to 6.71. Began "Growing in Grace" capital campaign. Supported mission trips to Biloxi, Mississippi and Marion, Virginia. Became an election site for Buncombe County. Offered English as Second Language classes.

• Supported missio trips to Guatemala (Casa Bernabe Orphaniage); Biloxi Missippi, and Marion, Virginia.

• 2008 Celebrated 45th anniversary with youth musical The Rock Slinger and His Greatest Hit. Opened a resource center. Pastor mark Fitzsimmons earned Doctor of Ministry degree. Celebrated 10 years of Pops concerts. Celebrated 25 years of preschool ministry and began a kindergarten class.

• 2009 Began Appreciative Inquiry (creative approach to strategic planning); Vision 2020. Began Pastoral Partners program. Pastor Sara Ilderton on sabbatical (June-August). Fifteen youth attended ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

• 2010 Developed Vision 2020 statement. Pastor Mark Fitzsimmons on sabbatical (August-October). Pastor Sara received a call to St. Luke's, Charlotte.

Nativity's Pastors
June 1960 - The Rev. Kenneth Merck - Mission Developer
May 1963 - The Rev. Dr. J. Lewis Thornburg - appointed Vice Pastor
February 1964 - The Rev. Carroll Wessinger - 1st called pastor
July 1970 - The Rev. Lewis O. Dasher - appointed Vice Pastor
June 1971 - The Rev. E. Edward Long - 2nd called pastor
June 1973 - The Rev. Lewis O. Dasher - appointed Vice Pastor
February 1974 - The Rev. Ernest W. Ridenhour - 3rd called pastor
May 1989 - The Rev. Frank J. Meleschnig, appointed Vice Pastor
November 1989 - The Rev. Dr. Thomas N. Colley - 4th called pastor
May 1991 - The Rev. Dr. C. Marion Starr - Assistant to the Pastor
January 1995 - The Rev. Dr. C. Marion Starr - appointed Interim Pastor
February 1996 to present -The Rev. Dr. Mark E. Fitzsimmons - 5th called pastor
January 2003-2010 The Rev. Sara R. Ilderton - 6th called pastor
March 2006-07 - The Rev. Amy J. Huacani - Called as pastor for Youth and Family Ministry and Latino Outreach
June 2016 to present - The Rev. Gregg Hoffman and the Rev. Rachel Hoffman                                                 - 8th and 9th called pastors

"Sons & Daughters" of the Congregation
1975 - Stephen Gragg, first "son" of congregation to enter ministry
1978 - Steven Ridenhour, "son" of congregation enters ministry
1994 - Kenneth Albright, "son" of congregation ordained at Nativity
1994 - Christopher Webb, "son" of the congregation
1999 - Nathan Gragg, "son" of the congregation
2006 - Judy Tavela, "daughter" of the congregation
2007 - Sarah Bolick-Lang, "daughter" of the congregation
2007 - Naomi Seese Carriker, "daughter" of the congregation
2011 - Lauren Tilley Carlson, "daughter" of the congregation
2014 - Christina Auch, "daughter" of the congregation

Seminarian Austin Propst

2001-2002 - Hobby Outten - Nativity's first Intern - Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
2011-2012 - Ingrid Schalk - Intern from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
2012-2013 - Jessica Skinner - Intern from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
2013-2014 - Jared Lee - Intern from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
2014-2015 - Gregg Hoffman - Intern from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary