Pastor Ron Biel has announced his retirement and will deliver his farewell sermon at Marco Lutheran Church this Sunday, in services at 8 and 11 a.m.
He has served the congregation, located at 525 N. Collier Blvd., since October 1996. He will officiate in the celebration of Holy Communion at both services this Sunday. The Marco Lutheran Choir, directed by Craig Greusel, will sing the anthems “I Must Tell Jesus,” by Larry Shackley, and “We Are the Church,” by Jay Althouse.
During his ministry at Marco Lutheran, Pastor Biel saw an increase in membership, and led the congregation through a rebuilding-expansion of the sanctuary which was rededicated on March 3, 2003. He has been a pastor in the LC-MS for 39 years.
Pastor Biel has also been an active citizen on Marco Island, offering prayers at the opening of City Council Meetings, through membership in the Kiwanis Club, and the Parma Ministers Association.
There will be a Farewell Program in honor of Pastor and Mrs. Biel Friday with a light supper, followed by a “roast” of Pastor Ron in the Great Room.
Alan Quick will be the Master of Ceremonies and there will be special music by Craig Greusel and the Marco Choir.
Pastor Biel and wife Diane have purchased a home in The Villages, and will move to their new residence in a few days.
This past Sunday, Marco Lutheran welcomed the Rev. Kevin Koenig as the new senior pastor, with a Service of Installation at 4:00 p.m. Raised in Auburn, Ind., he graduated from Concordia Senior college in Fort Wayne, and then from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1978. He has served previously at St. Paul Lutheran in Lakeland, Fla., Prince of Peace Lutheran in Southaven, Miss., Good Shepherd Lutheran in Sarasota, and for the last four years at Grace Lutheran in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He has served the church at large as Circuit Counselor in the Southern and Florida and Georgia Districts, and is a trained Stephen Ministry Leader. Following the Installation Service, he and his wife Betty were welcomed with a light supper and reception, and received a large basket of gift certificates and cash to help them get settled in their new home on Marco Island.
His brother, Rev. Stephen Koenig, pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran in Jackson, Miss. flew down here to participate in the Installation service, along with a dozen clergy from Sarasota, Fort Myers and the Naples area. The Rev. Jon Zehnder, Circuit Counselor and pastor at St. Michael Lutheran in Fort Myers, conducted the Rite of Installation.