- Our History. . .
1980—Polo and Marta Garcia begin ministry outreach among migrant workers in camps around the Woodburn
area as independent missionaries.
1992—A small group of supporters begin meeting with Polo and Marta Garcia, missionaries to migrant workers
in Woodburn, to find ways to support the ministry.
Radio sponsorship of a weekly Gospel broadcast begins.
1999—ESL classes and Rainbow Roundup begin at Ascension, Gresham
2000—A Convocation on Hispanic Ministries at Hope, Woodburn, is attended by 98 people.
Plans are made to expand the work of Lutheran Hispanic Ministries.
ESL classes begin at Trinity, Portland.
Polo Garcia, Jr. begins higher education with the goal of becoming a pastor.
Mission statement, purpose, and position description for a missionary, are created. Work toward calling a
full time missionary is begun.
2002—Lutheran Hispanic Ministries becomes a non-profit corporation.
Formerly Pentecostal Pr. Miguel and Marta Luna join Hope Lutheran Church; Rev. Bruce Zagel
introduces them to Lutheran theology.
2003—Spanish language services begin at Hope, Woodburn, conducted by Pr. Miguel at Pr. Zagel's request .
Benjamin Duarte & Miguel Luna begin Leadership Advancement Process classes taught by
Rev. Bruce Zagel (Hope, Woodburn) with the goal of ordination.
The name is changed to Lutheran Latino Ministries, Inc. and 501(c)(3) status is achieved.
Polo Garcia, Jr. graduates from Concordia, Portland
2005—Miguel and Marta Luna are hired to serve as Circuit Rider Missionaries.
Miguel Luna is licensed as Deacon by the Northwest District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
2006—Pr. Luna’s sermons are broadcast on AM970 from Rupert, Idaho.
2007-- Financial responsibility for the Woodburn radio broadcast is handed over to House of Zion, Woodburn.
2008— Mentored by Rev. Mark Hoelter, Rev. Dennis Bohren, Rev. Wally Misterek, and Rev. Butch Olson,
Pr. Luna completes colloquy and becomes a certified LCMS pastor. He is jointly called to serve as Missionary
Pastor for Hope-Woodburn, Trinity-Mt. Angel, and Trinity and Ascension in Portland.
Marta Luna begins training in the Deaconess Formation Program of the Center for Hispanic Studies at
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
2010 — Lutheran Latino Ministries becomes a Recognized Service Organization of the
Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
2011 – Marta Luna completed the Deaconess Formation Program, was called and commissioned by Lutheran
Latino Ministries to continue her evangelism work among women, families, and youth.
Five Latino people begin theological training with the goal of becoming Lay Assistants or Deacons
2014 - Pastor Miguel resigns his call to Trinity-Mt. Angel because the people previously served there have
chosen to worship with the nearby Woodburn congregation.
2015 - Pastor Miguel is disabled by cancer. LLM calls Rev. Dr. Paul Gossman to continue worship services for
the congregations served by Pr. Miguel.
Three members of Trinity-Portland complete the 10 entry-level classes offered through the Center for
Hispanic Studies of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in order to be better equipped for service in their
congregation and others.
2016 - Trinity Lutheran in Portland calls Rev. Dr. Paul Gossman to serve as Associate Pastor for Mission
Development, with the responsibility of training and equipping the members for mission and ministry,
and to serve the Hispanic/Latino members. Ascension contracts a portion of his time to serve the
Hispanic/Latino people in that congregation.
Hope Lutheran in Woodburn calls Rev. Zabdi Lopez to serve as their full-time bilingual pastor.
Two full-time pastors are now dedicated to the work previously developed by Pastor Miguel and
Deaconess Marta Luna.
2017 - Pastor Miguel is called to glory.
The first Mentoring for Ministry leader training retreat is attended by 26 people from Woodburn,
Portland, Tonasket, Washington, and Jerome, Idaho.
Pastor Gossman leaves Portland to serve as Director of the World Mission Prayer League.
Lay people assume mission responsibilities under supervision of Rev. Jim Sprengle (Ascension) and
Rev. Terry Merrill (Trinity, Portland)
2018 - Ruberto Ek Yah, member of Trinity, Portland, begins Pastoral Formation studies through the Center
for Hispanic Studies of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Rev. Zabdi Lopez becomes adjunct instructor with Concordia University, Portland and begins teaching
Mission Training Center classes to Spanish-speaking lay people.
2019 – LLM donates one day a week of Deaconess Marta’s time to serve as a chaplain at Legacy Silverton Hospital in
LLM provides a discipleship workshop/retreat at St. Peter the Fisherman (Lincoln City, OR) presented by Rev.
Dr. David Kim. As a result, Edgar Burgos (Trinity, Portland) initiates Bibles and Basketball youth program.
Pr. Lopez presents at the NOW Start Network fall workshop.
Trinity, Portland, installs bilingual pastor, Rev. Dr. Eric Moeller.
2020 – Deaconess Marta and Pam Bridgehouse meet with the church council of Redeemer, Salem, to discuss
expanding Marta’s evangelism ministry through their congregation.
Deaconess Marta begins working with Love INC, Woodburn, one day a week. She connects a number of her
clients with Hope, Woodburn.
The pandemic stops Marta’s work at the hospital. She continues working with Love INC. In cooperation with
the Senior Center in Silverton, OR, and local grocery stores and farms, Deaconess Marta and her crew of
volunteers distribute more than 10,000 masks in the Woodburn area.
Marta and Pam begin working on a bilingual training booklet, Initiating and Maintaining Relationships for
Rev. Eric Moeller (Trinity, Portland), Rev. Zabdi Lopez (Hope, Woodburn, OR) and Vicar Ruberto Ek Yah (Trinity,
Portland and Ascension, Portland) begin preaching once a month at Bethlehem Lutheran in Yakima, Washington
2021 - Redeemer, Salem, accepts LLM’s proposal to have Deaconess Marta serve as missionary evangelist through
Deaconess Marta begins work with the Salem Free Clinic to become familiar with helping agencies in the
Ruberto Ek Yah completed the Pastoral Formation Program of the Concordia Seminary Center for Hispanic
Hana Laughton, a Latina member of Ascension, Portland, begins studies in Concordia Seminary’s Online
Deaconess Studies Program. LLM will finance her education grants from Zion Lutheran Church (Portland)
Endowment Fund, Oregon LWML societies, and donations from LLM supporters.
2022 - Ruberto Ek Yah is ordained and installed as Assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Portland. He is also
serving at Ascension, Portland/Gresham.
The Convention of the Northwest District LCMS passes a resolution commending generous support for LLM by
all congregations and members in the District.
Bilingual Pr. Eric Moeller accepts a call and leaves the Northwest District. Pr. Lopez continues monthly
preaching ministry in Yakima.
2023 - Pr. Lopez continues monthly services at Bethlehem, Yakima, in addition to his work at Hope, Woodburn.
Lutheran Latino Ministries plans the next phase of ministry outreach.
We hope you’ll be part of our future!