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Messiah Lutheran Church welcomes new pastor

November 2, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Richard Leseganich got a calling from God to come to Southwest Florida. So, he left all the snow of the northeastern part of the country for the sunshine to serve Him.

Leseganich was called to Messiah Lutheran Church in July to lead the flock there after serving in Vermilion in Northeastern Ohio and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He said the Lutheran church has a way for "looking for cues" or the calling of God.

"I was called by people here about whether this is something we would to do, divinely led or not," Leseganich said. "The congregation determined this would be something we could pursue. It was a new place that seemed exciting and there is potential for growth."

Leseganich said that with all the part-time residents who are expected to come down shortly, he is going to get down to business in knowing the meeting the congregation and community.

"My hope is to empower Messiah to be better known in the community as a church that is present and standing with our neighbors. We plan on lots of outreach," Leseganich said. "We really want to broaden that to become a public church."

The church, which opened in 1977 and moved to its location at 2691 Pine Island Road on the North Fort Myers/ Cape Coral border three years later, has about 300 members currently and balloons to around 500 in season. It holds a Saturday evening service at 5 p.m. and two Sunday services at 8 and 11 a.m.

Leseganich heads up the many ministries the church provides, from help with alcoholism to financial literacy and food distribution and much more.

The church also has a concert series that brings in some of the area's best Christian artists, and every year near Christmas it holds its annual diorama of the birth of Jesus, which brings in hundreds of cars to witness the drive-thru version of his birth.

Leseganich is also deciding whether to do something similar for Easter.

The big question is how he plans to increase his flock, which is a problem many churches face.

Leseganich said the goal of the church is to accompany people on a journey of faith and answer any questions they have.

"We have a distinct approach to evangelism. We try to accompany folks on their journey and to present a message of welcome," Leseganich said. "We want to make space for people who want to explore their faith."

For more about the church, call 239-995-0133 or go to



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