History of Holy Cross Church
Cross Lutheran Church began in 1944. Pastor Edward Pieplow, pastor of
Trinity Lutheran Church, Mt. Rainier, started holding services in the
Greenbelt area. Under the guidance and direction of Pastor Pieplow and several vicars
(including Vicar Edward Birner) the congregation grew and became organized as a congregation of the
Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. After completing his seminary education, Edward Birner was
called back to the Greenbelt Mission and became the first full time pastor of
Greenbelt Lutheran Church as it was then called.
A “temporary” unit was constructed in
Greenbelt (22 Ridge Road – now the home of Greenridge) and served the congregation for many
years. As the congregation grew, a larger site and church building was necessary.
The congregation was fortunate to obtain property on Greenbelt Road
that had been cut off from Greenbelt National Park due to the construction of the
beltway. Ground was broken in 1968 and the new church was
dedicated in 1969.
was fortunate to have Pastor Birner serve the congregation his entire ministry. This
stability was a blessing to the congregation especially during the late 1970’s and 1980’s when numerous changes
were occurring in the surrounding communities.
In 1994, Pastor Birner retired. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the congregation
called the Rev. Stephen H. Mentz of Palmetto, FL to be their new
Throughout its history, Holy Cross has been
faithful in serving the community with the historic and Biblical teaching of the Lutheran
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Ephesians