Charter member Hank Gurtz, left, Administrative Assistant Ellen Rofkar, center, and trustee Roy Martinez stand inside Resurrection Lutheran Church, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sept. 10.

(Photo: Sheri Trusty/Correspondent)


CATAWBA - Resurrection Lutheran Church celebrated its 50th anniversary last month with a handful of charter members and the only two pastors in the church’s half-century history. Tradition is foundational to Resurrection, whose biggest change was inspired by its refusal to change.

The church was founded as a mission church in 1967 and was strong enough to terminate its mission status in 1968. Pastor Erwin Streng led the congregation through its first 10 years, and then Pastor Kurt Borows took over in 1978. He remains the church’s minister today.

“Pastor Borows has carried the ball for 40 years, and he has been ordained for 53 years,” said church trustee Roy Martinez. “Our church is very traditional, and a lot of that has to do with Pastor Borows and his leadership style. We’re very open, very friendly, and we have a lot of volunteers.”

Administrative Assistant Ellen Rofkar said she believes that friendliness, and the church’s unusual location, have contributed to its longevity.


“Catawba Island is just a unique place, being on a peninsula. It’s very friendly. It’s really like family,” she said. “Even the summer residents, if they only come three or four times and you never see them again, they are like family while they’re here.”



On Sunday, September 10, 2017, the congregation of Resurrection Lutheran Church held their 50th Anniversary celebration with a special worship service and brunch at the Catawba Island Club.  

Special guests included Pastor Erwin Streng, who served as the first pastor from 1967 to 1977,  Pastor Mark Chavez-General Secretary of the North American Lutheran Church, Pastor Robert Butcher-retired pastor of Firelands Presbyterian Church, and Pastor Janine Dress who was ordained at Resurrection in 1982. Also participating in the special worship service were Reverend Lisa Peterson-retired pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Port Clinton and a current member of Resurrection, member John Hazzard, and current Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kurt W. Borows.

In May of 1966, the American Lutheran Church, Michigan District Convention was held at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton, Ohio.  At this convention, Rev. Clarence Larson of the Toledo Board of Home Missions announced plans for a mission church on Catawba Island.  

Ground was broken for the church building in August of 1966 and the church was dedicated on March 5, 1967, as RESURRECTION LUTHERAN CHURCH.  The Rev. Dr. Kurt W. Borows has been serving as pastor since January 1, 1978.  

Today, there are 10 charter members still with Resurrection.  They are:  Ron Bauman, Don & Mitzi Gulau, Hank Gurtz, Dr. Robert & Norma Nehls, Herb & Jackie Roder and John & Helen Jean Rofkar.

The church is located at 2370 NE Catawba Road, Port Clinton.  There is a dedicated website at:   Resurrection Lutheran Church is a charter member of the North American Lutheran Church.  Worship service and Sunday school start at 9:00 a.m.

Pictured above are (on left) Rev. Dr. Kurt W. Borows and (on right) Pastor Erwin Streng

with the beautiful commemorative plaque celebrating the momentous milestone.


As you can see, we’ve made a lot of changes to make things more streamlined for ease of use and hopefully, you’ll agree, more appealing to the eye!

Everything you need will be right at your fingertips. Calendar of events, descriptions of what we offer, visual and audio sermons, as well as bringing back our “Resurrection Reflection” in a more modern format!

We hope you will check back on a regular basis to see what we have going on. More importantly, we hope to see you for a service or two soon!

Well before Christmas 2016, someone well known and loved here at Resurrection wanted to do something special for Strength for the Journey. She took it upon herself to send out her own handmade costumes so these impoverished children and families in the Dominican Republic could re-enact the nativity.

Sending them out in plenty of time, it was still a nail-biting, down-to-the-wire experience waiting to hear if/when they received these boxes. Fortunately, they DID receive them by December 19th. Not too late for Lindsay Kaufman, a retired school teacher moved from Ohio to the Dominican Republic, to take on the challenge of preparing for this task!

Strength for the Journey is an organization of dedicated volunteers; dedicated to helping kids that find themselves in absolute poverty with little likelihood of overcoming their situation.

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Contact Us

2370 N.E. Catawba Road
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
(419) 797-4628