The German Ministry Miami is part of the Coral Gables United Church of Christ and offers German-language church services as well as joined bi-lingual (English-German) and tri-lingual (English-Spanish-German) worship in conjunction with the English and Spanish speaking members of the Coral Gables UCC. Worship services usually occur on the following occasions: Back to School, Erntedank, St. Martin’s Day, Advent, Christmas Eve, New Year, Lent, Holy Week, and Pentecost. Past online services can be viewed here. From August to May, we have monthly Bible studies and celebrate cultural events. German-speaking youth participate in the Coral Gables UCC confirmation class and we may be able to help with German or bilingual weddings, baptisms, or funerals. For more information, or to sign up for our mailing list in order to receive announcements about upcoming events, email us at germanministry@gablesucc.org.

The History of the German Ministry in Miami

In the 1990s, German-speaking immigrants in Miami expressed a wish to have German-language church services. They were able to attract Pastor Popp, who held services in the German American Social Club, and can be considered the founder of the German Ministry in Miami. At the beginning of the new century, the German-speaking immigrants came up with the idea to ask the churches in which they were members whether there was any interest in working with German speakers.

In 2003, under the leadership of Reverend Arnold Perry, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Coral Gables agreed and called a pastor from Germany, Dr. Ulrich Rosenhagen. He began to build up a German-speaking congregation at St. Mark’s. Pastor Rosenhagen worked with Pastor Perry until 2006 when Pastor Rosenhagen left Miami for a position in Wisconsin. Lay members of the congregation working with Pastor Perry continued the work of the German Ministry.

In the summer of 2008, the congregation again succeeded in calling a German pastor for a 5 year period. Reverend Frank Kopania, along with Pastor Perry, became responsible for the German Ministry in South Florida. In the Fall of 2009 Pastor Kopania also began to hold monthly worship services in Ft. Lauderdale at the Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in addition to the services at St. Mark’s in Coral Gables. In February of 2010, Bishop Benoway called Pastor Kopania to be the Director of German Ministry in the Florida Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and, as a result, Pastor Kopania began to coordinate all German-language congregations in the state of Florida.

In the summer of 2013 Pastor Kopania’s call in Miami was completed. With his departure, the German Ministry’s cooperation with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church ended and the congregation joined the Coral Gables United Church of Christ. From 2015 Pastor Jochen Pajunk served as our Pastor on a part-time basis until he retired to Arizona in 2017. Since then regular lay-led German-worship services have continued at Coral Gables UCC with the help of visiting German-speaking clergy and the English-speaking pastors.