What We Believe
Proclaim the free gift of salvation to all, thank & praise God for His continual blessings, grow & reach out in Christian faith.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY TRUE GOD IS THE TRIUNE GOD; ONE GOD WHO SHOWS HIMSELF IN THREE DISTINCT AND SEPARATE PERSONS.
- The Father, who creates and preserves all things. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
- The Son, who redeems the world by His perfect life, death and resurrection. (John 3:16, John 5:39; Acts 4:12)
- The Holy Spirit, who brings and keeps people in saving faith in Jesus Christ, who grows and matures us that we live lives that make a difference for the sake of the kingdom. (1 Corinthians 12:3).
WE BELIEVE THAT GOD DESIRES ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED AND KNOW THE TRUTH.
- God loves all people and wants them to come to love Him and each other. (Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 4:16)
- We are sinful at birth, alienated from God, and must be born again in faith. (John 3:1-8; Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 2:1-5).
WE BELIEVE THAT GOD SO LOVED PEOPLE THAT HE SENT HIS ONLY SON JESUS TO RESCUE US FROM OUR LOST CONDITION.
- Jesus Christ is both God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5-6; Colossians 2:8,9)
- Jesus gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, resulting in our forgiveness and acceptance before God the Father. (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9,10)
WE BELIEVE THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS US TO, KEEPS US IN, GROWS AND MATURES US IN SAVING FAITH THROUGH GOD’S WORD, HOLY BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER.
- We cannot believe in Jesus or come to Him without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)
- God’s Word is true, powerful and has the ability to change lives. (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 4:12)
- Through baptism, the Holy Spirit offers all people new life, and makes us God’s children. (John 1:12,13; John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5; Acts 2:38)
- In Holy Communion, Jesus offers believers His body and blood under forms of bread and wine for Christians to eat and drink. (1 Corinthians 10:16,17)
- In Holy Communion God offers believers the forgiveness of sins and increases the depth of their faith. (Matthew 26:27,28; John 6:54-58; 1 Corinthians 11:26)
WE BELIEVE THAT THROUGH THE CHURCH, GOD EQUIPS, EMPOWERS, AND SENDS BELIEVERS TO SERVE HIM BY SERVING OTHERS AND SHARING THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS.
- God has uniquely gifted each person to do good works which He expects His children to do. (Matthew 25:34-40; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:3-21)
- It is not good for people to live in isolation. God intends for us to share His love with nonbelievers and believers alike through intentional relationships. (Genesis 2:18; Galatians 6:9,10; Hebrews 10:25)
- The Christian faith is best lived in close relationships with other people — i.e. Group Life, Missional Communities (Proverbs 27:17; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:9-13)
- Our greatest purpose in life is to bring others into a saving relationship with Jesus their Savior. (Matthew 28:19,20; John 20:30,31)
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE LORDS SUPPER?
We believe in Jesus and His Word when He says, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” We believe that we receive the true body and blood of Jesus in, with, and under the bread and wine when we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus also says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” As we partake of His Body and Blood, we are proclaiming the Lord’s death and resurrection as we await His 2nd coming.
In Holy Communion, we acknowledge God’s gift of forgiveness and strength. Before we approach God’s table we:
- Repent of all our sins.
- Trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life.
- Recognize that we receive Christ’s true body and blood with the bread and wine.
- Dedicate our lives to Jesus Christ through regular worship, witness, and service.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is a gift of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in which He gives us faith in Him. He connects the baptized to the benefits of Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificial death, on the cross and victorious resurrection. He calls the baptized by name and says, “You are mine!” He gifts us with forgiveness, abundant life, and the promise of paradise in heaven. And, He promises to be with us; not against us, but present and on our side now and forever.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Senior Pastor Rusty Leavitt
The Reverend Rossetter (Rusty) Leavitt was born in San Benito, Texas. He received a degree in education from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska and later a Master’s of Divinity from Concordia Lutheran Seminary. Pastor Leavitt formerly served as Director of Christian Education at Zion Lutheran in Orlando, FL, completed his Vicarage at St. Paul Lutheran in Sioux City, Iowa in 1980, and was Pastor of St. Marks’s Lutheran in Mineral Wells, TX for seven years. Prior to joining Beautiful Savior in January, 2002, he was Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran in Vernon, TX for 14 years. Pastor Leavitt and his wife, the former Lynn Karmer (a school teacher) of Quincy, IL have five grown sons, four daughter-in-laws, and six grandchildren.
Associate Pastor Todd Kuehn
Pastor Todd and his wife Jessi have been members of Beautiful Savior for several years serving the Church in teaching Bible classes, Vacation Bible School leader, music, and facilitating church services and special events with audio and visual expertise. Pastor Todd was ordained January 15, 2012 and serves at Beautiful Savior leading the Sunday morning contemporary worship and several Bible studies (at church, online and off campus in the community).
Music Director Norm Vagn
Norm was born in Chicago and grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He received his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. He received his Masters Degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Kansas. Norm taught for 10 years in McHenry County, which is an hour west of Chicago. Norm currently teaches at Riverview High School in Sarasota. He teaches band, jazz ensemble, orchestra and IB Music. Norm plays piano, bass trombone, electric bass and loves to sing. He has been involved in church music for all of his adult life.
Office Manager Pamela Bragg
Pam and her husband Barry moved to Sarasota from Hampton Roads, VA, in 2021. Pam retired in 2022 and wanted to be more involved in her new church home when the opportunity presented to work as the office manager. With 35 years of executive administrative experience, it was the perfect fit.
Become A Member!
Welcome to Beautiful Savior! If you are interested in joining our congregation as a member, or if you have any questions about Christianity or the Lutheran denomination, please contact Pastor Leavitt, Pastor Todd, or the office. To those who are new to the Lutheran Church, you are welcome to attend our next Adult Information Class where you'll hear about some good news! A new Adult Information Class is scheduled to begin in January and is usually held on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. This is your opportunity to discuss the basics of the Christian faith & the Lutheran church. Participants are encouraged to ask questions about Christianity and Beautiful Savior Church while building fellowship with others. Following this 8 —10-week class, those that would like to join us as members may do so at that time.