Central Florida Cross Network (CFLCN) is a growing network of churches and domestic ministry organizations seeking to bring Jesus to everyone by serving the needs of the community and growing the faith of all who believe.
In 1983, Pastor Paul Hoyer and his family moved to Lake Mary and began mission work in a storefront on Lake Mary Blvd. The first Worship Service was in December of that year.
On September 9th, 1984, Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Lake Mary was formed with 48 adult members and a few children. A Building Committee was established.
In June of 1986, work was begun on the first building for Holy Cross Lutheran Church. The building was built with volunteer labor.
The building was completed at a cost of $330,000.00 and dedication was in March of 1987. Attendance then topped 100 per Sunday. Betty Hoyer started the Preschool, which would later become Holy Cross Lutheran Academy.
The Preschool flourished with two teachers and many of the preschool and VBS families became members of the church. Attendance at worship hit 120 with two services. The church became a part of the Christian Sharing Center.
Holy Cross Lake Mary added a contemporary service on Saturday nights. Pastor Dave Schillinger came on part time as the Preschool director and also did some Pastoral duties.
Holy Cross Lake Mary added another contemporary service was added at 9:30 on Sunday mornings; weekly attendance was around 200. Planning began for additional classroom space for the preschool.
The debt on the building and land was reduced $150,000 through congregation donations; the church also received a bequest from Evelyn Haygreen for more than $500,000.
The timetable for building was moved up, more than 150 volunteers worked on a capital campaign and pledges for more than $500,000.00 were gathered. In education, Edie Herota became our Preschool Director.
On February 2, 1998, the new building was dedicated. On the next Sunday, there was over 300 in worship and attendance numbers began to climb.
While in the new building, the preschool continued to grow and, with the urging of the community, an elementary school was founded. That year Holy Cross Lake Mary and St. Peters worked together to build a Habitat House.
Five acres of land was bought on Highway 46 for a childcare center. The church called Pastor Nathan Guelzow to be the first youth Pastor. Attendance was up to 425 per Sunday.
The Childcare Center opened in 2001. Charles Patterson came from Texas to run the Childcare and play organ and keyboard. Holy Cross Lutheran Academy used one of the rooms at the church in order to have school for up to 2nd grade. After 9/11, attendance averaged 485 for that year, making Holy Cross Lake Mary one of the 30 fastest growing churches in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS).
In 2002, Holy Cross Lake Mary sold a little less than an acre of land that had been our retention pond. With the proceeds, we were able to build 6 more classrooms by the childcare for the Holy Cross Lutheran Academy along with a music room and a youth room above the preschool building on the church campus.
2003 was a year of staff changes. Pastor Jon Thomas replaced Nathan Guelzow. Office staff all changed and Chris Johnson started along with Sue Moffitt. Betty Hoyer came back on staff as the principal and teacher for the Holy Cross Lutheran Academy.
Holy Cross Lake Mary started a new worship service on Sunday nights called “Hearts A Fire” geared for High School and College age people as a result the church finished the year with 500 average attendance.
The childcare and Holy Cross Lutheran Academy merged and we had seamless support for working parents from 6 weeks to the 5th grade as well as the preschool. The education part of our ministry had over 350 students.
The church was a part of Purpose Orlando with 30 small groups in addition to our other small groups. 45 people went to Panama over 8 weeks. We did a capital campaign and $1.4 million was pledged. With that we built Shepherd’s Hope in the Sharing Center Plaza and a two story middle School on the Holy Cross Lutheran Academy campus that allowed Holy Cross Lutheran Academy to expand up to 8th grade.
We gained a third pastor with the installation and ordination of Benjamin Hoyer. The 20th VBS held at Holy Cross Lake Mary was a tremendous success with registration filling up less than 24 hours after it opened. We began work with Dr. Elry Orazco in Amatitlan Guatemala and a free Clinic was begun.
The church celebrated 25 years of bringing Jesus to everyone by serving the needs of our community and growing the faith of all who believe. L-Teams were begun and “Live, Love, Learn” became a familiar phrase.
Zach Zehnder was called and installed as the 4th pastor on the staff. Downtown Credo was begun as a non-profit by Ben Hoyer at the same time that he started theCross Orlando as a new mission. We did our third capital campaign “Imagine” and 1 million 800 thousand dollars were pledged to expand the mission of Central Florida Cross Network toward the “Vision 2020” goals that were also set that year.[
2011 started with Jon Thomas leaving for a senior pastor position in California. Matt Wallis came on as the new senior pastor of Holy Cross Lake Mary and Pastor Paul Hoyer became the Executive Pastor in charge of all the ministries of Central Florida Cross Network. Zach started theCross Mount Dora with a rented space in Mount Dora. We built and opened the Oasis in the Sharing Center Plaza in October and Lyn Easton became the first manager.
Jacob Hoyer came on as communications and graphic design and he and Chris Johnson both began the SMP program to lead to being ordained pastors. Pastor Adam Barcott and New City church in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando became a part of what we now call Central Florida Cross Network. Major renovations came to the Holy Cross Lake Mary this year.
theCross Mount Dora went to two worship services and by the end of the year were worshiping with over 200 per Sunday. On Sunday mornings with worship at 4 different sites our attendance was approaching 700. The K-8 portion of Holy Cross Lutheran Academy went over 200 students.
We increased support of Dr. Elry and his wife in Guatemala and “Santa Cruz” Amatitlan became our partner. We purchased 15 acres on Highway 46 that had been a private elementary school with 30 classrooms in order to move our middle school and allow us to plan for High School for Holy Cross Lutheran Academy. We were able to lease 7,000 more sq.ft. of space in Mount Dora for theCross Mount Dora and work was begun on a 350 seat Sanctuary.