Meet FLC


First Lutheran Church is active and welcoming. We are committed to Jesus Christ and excited to build His kingdom through worship, study, and reaching out to those who have yet to learn of His amazing grace and love.

No greater peace and joy can be found than in Jesus, our Lord and Savior! He died on the cross and rose again, that in Him we would have the free gift of forgiveness and everlasting life in heaven. It is our joy and privilege to grow in that Good News and bring it to Clearwater, Pinellas County and beyond!

There is place for everyone at First Lutheran: those of any age, families, singles, the lonely, the broken, and the curious. We welcome you to join us for worship, study and fellowship opportunities as we share the Lord’s blessings at First Lutheran Church.

The Church

First Lutheran church was organized on June 8th, 1941, and has been faithful to Christ and His word through worship, study and service ever since. In 2016, First Lutheran celebrated its 75th anniversary!

First Lutheran accepts and teaches the unswerving truth of the Bible and the Biblically faithful teachings of Martin Luther: Grace Alone-God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him, and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly, Scripture Alone-The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in
which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine, Faith Alone-By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.

First Lutheran is a member congregation the LCMS-Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Faithful to the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions, the LCMS serves in all fifty states and around the world through congregations, schools, universities, seminaries and hospitals.

Our Pastor

Pastor Philip John Rigdon has served as Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church and School since October 2015. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Pastor Rigdon completed a bachelorÕs degree in education at Concordia University, Chicago before serving as a missionary in Taiwan, R.O.C. After returning to the United States, Pastor Rigdon served as a Minister of Outreach and school teacher at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and School and completed a master degree in education. He began his seminary studies in 2008 and was ordained at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Avon, Indiana, where he served as Associate Pastor. He and his wife, Jamelyn, have been married since 2010 and have a chinchilla named Sunshine. Pastor Rigdon is a published author and enjoys playing the guitar and running.

Our Vicar

Vicar Andrew Apple has served on staff at First Lutheran Church and School since 2015. He is currently a seminarian at Concordia Theological Seminary, Saint Louis, while serving his vicarage at First Lutheran Church and School. This allows Andrew to engage in his theological education while continuing to serve in the church where he will be ordained as an associate pastor in 2018.  A native to Florida, Andrew completed his undergraduate education with a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry and Leadership from Trinity College of Florida. Andrew originally served as a pastor in a non-denominational church before leaving his former perish and converting to the Lutheran faith. Our Creator was not done with him, and Andrew’s life was transformed by an understanding that the love and grace of God cannot be earned or accepted, but freely bestowed upon us by Jesus. The love that Christ has shown to him empowers Andrew to serve in his local church and community. Andrew lives in Clearwater with his wife Renaann and son, Samuel. They enjoy visiting small towns, biking, and the outdoors.