Pastor Steve Ridenhour is a native of N.C.  He and his wife LaRue live in Arden N.C.  They have two sons and three grand children,   He is a graduate of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and Lenoir Rhyne college.  He was ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church of America in 1983.  He has training in intentional interim ministry.   Pastor Ridenhour also serves as the chaplin at the Trinity View Senior Living Community in Arden N.C.  Prior to this he served Lutheran parishes in Virginia for more than 33 years.  Pastor Ridenhour enjoys spending time with his family and and especially his grandchildren.  he enjoys travel and spending time outdoors.  


To be Disciples 

To Live as Disciples 

To Make Disciples in Christ


History of Messiah of the Mountains

(Facts and quotes from the history written by Evelyn Clark, Louise Edwards, Ardis Tysland, Ruth Wenhardt and edited by Pastor Wm. Raymond Hollifield.)
1975    Louise and Bill Edwards moved to the area.  They were very interested in having a Lutheran witness, and they sought the advice of The Rev. David Johnson, Mission Director for the Division of Ministry in North American of the LCA.  Pastor Johnson suggested the area be surveyed for the number of interested Lutherans.
1976    On February 18, 1976, a meeting was held at the Amber Jack Fish House.  Sixteen people attended.  The group began to meet at least once a month and Pastor Ron Teed, a caseworker for DSS, held meetings on Sunday afternoons in a room provided by DSS in Burnsville.
 In June, 1976, Pastor Johnson met with the group at Carolina Hemlocks and encouraged the group to keep searching for a place to meet permanently and to be faithful in continuing to meet for worship. Eventually space in Burnsville was found on Mitchell Branch across from the Recreation Park.
1977    By this time, Pastor Teed had left and leadership fell to faithful lay people. On September 11, 1977, Wanda McNeill led the first worship in Burnsville.
1977     It was now time for a name for group identity, Messiah of the Mountains.
1978    Pastor Paul Rimmer came on November 1, 1978, to become Messiah’s first full-time pastor.  A parsonage was purchased on Charlie Brown Road with the assistance of the Division for Ministry, LCA.
1979    The group continued to grow and on March 4, 1979, they moved into the basement of a building on 19E across from the Mountain View Motel.  On October 28, 1979, thirty-five persons signed the first Living Charter and now thoughts began of becoming an officially organized congregation.
1982    Pastor Rimmer left in October 1982 due to cutbacks in funds from the Division for Ministry. Pastor Jerome Kaufman came to serve in a part-time capacity in November.
1983    Pastor John D. Mauney Jr. was appointed by Bishop Michael McDaniel as a Mission Development Pastor.  He began work in October. 
Pastor Boyce Whitener was now the Mission Director for the Division of Ministry.  He received permission and funding for a building on a site in Micaville that had already been purchased.  The groundbreaking for the foundation of the new modular unit was on August 21, 1983.
1984    Dedication and Open House was held on April 29, 1984
1985    Educational Unit was added.  August 11, 1985, was the date of official organization and May 30-June 1 Messiah of the Mountains was received as a member of the North Carolina Synod at the annual convention at Lenoir-Rhyne College.
1988    Pastor Raymond Hollifield became Messiah’s full-time pastor.
1996    Messiah became a self-supporting congregation.
2006    Pastor Hollifield retired and Pastor John Propst began serving as a part-time pastor with   the assistance of supply pastors.
2008    Vicar Linda Wimmer from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago served from August 2008 to July 2009 as our seminary intern under the supervision of Pastor Chris   Webb of St. Mark’s in Asheville
2009    Vicar Andrew Isenhour from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary served from August 2009 until July 2010 as our seminary intern under the supervision of Pastor Chris Webb of St. Mark’s in Asheville.
2010 –  Pastor Phil Tonnesen.

2021   -   Present   Pastor   Steve Ridenhour
Messiah of the Mountains Lutheran Church
Pastor Steve Ridenhour
4011 Hwy 19E
P.O. Box 117
Burnsville, NC 28714


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