The Mission of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is to reflect God’s hope, which we express through:
    • Celebration,
    • Connection,
    • Compassion.
Celebrating the unconditional love of Jesus through worship and learning; connecting people to God through Jesus Christ, to one another in community, and to the world by welcoming all people; compassionately living out our gratitude in ministry, mission, outreach, and generosity.
In 1965 Pastor Donald Bankson was called by the American Lutheran Church to begin a new church and on September 19, 1965, the first service was held at Serra School in Capistrano Beach with a total of fifty people in attendance. After moving worship services to Richard Henry Dana Elementary School, they broke ground on the current site on December 11, 1966, with dedication services of the first unit on December 11, 1966. The total cost of the first building and land was under $200,000. The church continued to grow and change through the years and in 1975, Pastor John Knudson was called to serve as Pastor. The church continued to change and add staff and in 1984, the second unit (the fellowship hall) was built. The Gloria Dei Preschool began as a ministry of the church in 1986. On June 23, 2000, Pastor David R. Mattson was installed as Senior Pastor. The congregation has continued to grow in worship attendance and new ministries. On January 24, 2010, Pastor Sabrina Vasta was ordained and called to Gloria Dei. Other full-time and part-time people were added to the church staff. “O God our help in ages past – our hope for years to come…” We thank God for His faithfulness towards Gloria Dei, empowering this ministry, and granting us a wonderful heritage.
Today, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (E.L.C.A.). With over 350 people in Sunday worship, a full preschool, a growing youth ministry and the staff now includes the following full-time people: Pastor David Mattson, Carol Weinhardt (Administrative Assistant), Shelli Parajeckas (Preschool Director). The staff also includes many part-time people: Arts and Outreach Minister Michelle Lum, Kathy Person (Music Director), Seminary Student Dana Becker, Fred Johnson (Organist/Pianist), Preschool Teachers, Susie Boland (Congregational Life Director), Paige Gulck (Youth Director), Susie Boland and other musicians. Gloria Dei also supports a missionary in China.
Gloria Dei continues to grow in many ways (worship attendance, programs, ministries). We have just built a new sanctuary, repurposed existing building, a new playground, and an outdoor chapel – all of which will help expand ministry opportunities and support existing groups. We are adding Bible studies each year. Youth groups continue to expand and welcome more and more kids into their program. We are working hard at becoming a life-changing church through our missionaries, caring ministries, and service. We will continue to “run with our strengths” and emphasize God’s grace in Jesus is for all—all races, sexualities, nationalities, backgrounds, political persuasions, and every generation. We will continue to seek God’s guidance that more and more people would come to know the love of Jesus Christ. We want everyone to know that “Grace changes everything!”