Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

5415 Raleigh-LaGrange Road

Memphis, TN 38134

Rev. Jim Turriff, Pastor


Please join us this Sunday

Bible Hour for all ages 9:00AM - Sep. through May

Worship Service 10:15AM

Leadership and Organizations


The Constitution and Bylaws of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church provide that the Word of God, as proclaimed in the Bible, is the supreme authority in all matters of Christian faith and life.  In all other Church matters not decided by the Word of God, the right of decision is conferred upon the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church congregation, according to representation by the voter’s assembly.  In the manner followed by the original New Testament Church, the congregation appoints Church members to oversee various Church business that it is unable to supervise individually or collectively.  To fulfill theses needs, the congregation chooses elders and officers possessing the qualifications prescribed for leaders of the original New Testament Church (Acts 6:1-6).  Opportunities exist for Church members to serve God, the Church, and the Church congregation by participating in the ministries of Church leadership and organizations.   


The Board of Elders

The elders work closely with Pastor Turriff to accomplish the work of the Church.  Although the responsibilities of the elders are specific to their title, they work together to assist the pastor to assure the spiritual welfare of the congregation. The board of elders consists of four individuals, each elected by members of the voter’s assembly.  The titles and responsibilities of these individuals are the following.

  • Elder – Spiritual Growth works with the pastor to help nourish and strengthen the faith of the congregation through Word and Sacrament in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions.  
  • Elder – Stewardship works with the pastor to help maintain the financial and legal integrity of the congregation as well as the physical properties necessary to carry on the work of the congregation.
  • Elder – Planning and Administration works with the pastor to help organize and oversee the day-to-day operations of the congregation.  This includes oversight of short-term budgeting and long-range planning.
  • Elder – Member Care and Outreach works with the pastor to help members of the congregation (including our pastor/called workers and their families) remain faithful and active while dealing with the trials and tribulations of this life, and to reach out with the Gospel to those people who do not know Jesus as their Savior.



The officers of the congregation work closely with Pastor Turriff and the board of elders to advance the mission of the Church, giving due attention also to the work of the church-at-large.  The officers are elected by the board of elders and consist of the following four positions and responsibilities.

  • Chairman of the Congregation presides at all business sessions of the congregation and board of elders, signs legal documents, and assures the congregation’s financial records are audited annually.
  • Secretary of the Congregation records the proceedings of all meetings of the congregation and board of elders, is responsible for the legal records of the congregation, and countersigns legal documents executed by the congregation. 
  • Financial Secretary of the Congregation receives and deposits all congregational contributions keeping accurate records, delivers a report of contributions along with accounts to be credited to the treasurer, makes a financial report at appropriate meetings, submits financial records for the annual audit, and provides church members with a quarterly report of their offerings.
  • Treasurer of the Congregation obtains a monthly report of monies received from the financial secretary and credits funds to appropriate accounts, makes disbursements instructed by the board of elders as approved by the congregation, reports financial conditions to appropriate meetings, and submits financial records for annual audits.



Temporary committees may be formed and dismissed by the board of elders as deemed necessary.

The budget committee is a permanent committee.  The treasurer of the congregation and the financial secretary of the congregation are permanent members of the budget committee.  Other Church members may be appointed to the budget committee by the chairman of the congregation.  The budget committee gathers budget requests from the various Church committees and organizations, and prepares the congregation’s budget for the following year for review by the board of elders prior to being presented to the congregation for ratification.


Organizations may be formed within the congregation with approval of the board of elders.  Organizations help support the mission of the Church, provide service to the Church, and promote social interaction and spiritual growth among members.


Sophia Circle

The primary organization in Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is the Sophia Circle.  The Sophia Circle is an organization for communicant women of Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The purpose of the Sophia Circle is to:


  • aid the members of the Sophia Circle to grow in their knowledge of the Word of God and the work of the Church,
  • give members of the Sophia Circle an opportunity to further the work of our local congregation and the church-at-large through whatever service projects the organization may undertake, and
  • encourage fellowship among the members of the Sophia Circle and the congregation.


The Sophia Circle is a member of the Southern Hills Circuit; along with other circuits makes up the Lutheran Women's Missionary Society (LWMS) nationwide.  The mission of the LWMS is to serve Jesus by increasing awareness of, interest in, and support of the mission outreach of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod (WELS).


The ladies of Sophia Circle are responsible for numerous important specific Church activities.  These activities include:

  • maintaining the altar paraments, candles, and setups for communion and baptisms,
  • assisting members in need due to illness, loss of a loved one, or other hardship,
  • encouraging one another’s spiritual growth with devotions, ladies’ Bible Study, and remembering Prayer Partners in prayer and on their special days,
  • organizing congregational fellowship, preparing meals for Advent, and Lent, and maintaining the kitchen and supplies as needed,
  • providing greeting cards for members and their families for baptism, confirmation, illness, and bereavement,
  • maintaining our Church library,
  • recording the history of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and
  • supporting the mission work of WELS through projects and offerings.


An interesting activity of the Sophia Circle is the Prayer Partners program.  Each member wanting to participate is assigned another Sophia Circle member as a prayer partner.  However, the prayer partners are not told the name of the person who is praying for them.  Each woman is expected to pray regularly each day for her prayer partner.  Although not required or expected, each woman may do other things for her prayer partner such as sending a birthday card or small gift.  After a year has passed, the prayer partners are told the names of the women who have been praying for them.  Then, new prayer partners are assigned and the program repeats.

  • Preparing for Communion

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  • Arranging altar flowers

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  • Part of the

    Church library

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  • Some women of the Sophia Circle

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