Our Story

Christ Lutheran began as a church plant in the Fall of 2016. The church plant was originally named "The Gate." If you want to know more about church planting, check out this article: http://www.acts29.com/why-church-planting/

After 4 years of worshiping as The Gate, we have moved to a new building and have decided to rename ourselves Christ Lutheran Church. The Gate was based on the gospel of John where Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” -John 10:9. While we appreciate the rich meaning behind this name, we wanted to choose a name for ourselves that clearly proclaimed two things, who our savior is and what our confession is. Doing so makes it abundantly clear what our church is about. We are excited to move forward with this name and continue our mission of reaching the lost people of Ankeny with the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

We exist as the Church, the body of Christ here on earth, and as the community of Christ Lutheran so that we may worship our God, who has revealed himself in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may connect with one another, to strengthen and encourage each other in our faith walk with Jesus, and to serve others around us, as our Lord has first served us.

Our Staff

Rev. Paul Rieger
Rev. Paul Rieger
Lead Pastor
Craig Willoughby
Craig Willoughby
Worship Director



“We are all beggars. This is true.” – Martin Luther

We believe that men, women, and children are rescued from the effects of sin purely by the undeserved mercy of God; and that through faith–a relationship of dependence upon Jesus that God Himself gives us–forgiveness and more become ours. Lastly, God’s Word stands over us as ultimate. In it He gives us the rule and norm for all belief and through it makes us aware of sin, fills us with faith in Jesus, and guides us in faith-filled living.


I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The words of the Apostles’ Creed, along with the Nicene and Athanasian Creed, have served as a summary of Spirit-filled and scriptural belief since the earliest days of Christianity. They summarize what Christians have always confessed when gathered around God’s Word in the name of God’s Son–and they are the truths that we believe, teach, and confess at Christ Lutheran.


Lutheran. Specifically we are associated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. To be Lutheran simply means that we accept the scriptural truths that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century and led to a renewed focus on the Gospel.

As a result, we uphold an extravagant and mysterious view of God’s love: that man is saved purely by God’s grace through faith alone, apart from works. We believe that God is so loving and powerful that he is actively working through His Word as well as saving and sustaining sinful men, women and children through his mysterious gifts of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

For an overview of all our beliefs as well as our take on current cultural issues such as marriage, life, and more please see lcms.org.


We believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Bible tells us that such “faith comes by hearing”. Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God. Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous means of grace (the other two are the Lord's supper and God's Word), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart. Baptism is from God and works forgiveness and cleanses a person no matter their age. Although we do not claim to understand fully how this happens, we believe that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism. The infant’s faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same. The faith of the infant, like adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God’s Word.

The LCMS does not believe that Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation. Mark 16:16 implies that it is not the absence of Baptism that condemns a person but the absence of faith, and there are clearly other ways of coming to faith by the power of the Holy Spirit (reading or hearing the Word of God). Still, Baptism dare not be despised or willfully neglected, since it is explicitly commanded by God and has His precious promises attached to it. It is not a mere “ritual” or “symbol,” but a powerful means of grace by which God grants faith and the forgiveness of sins.

If you have questions concerning baptism including service time and location please reach out to info@christankeny.org. To request a baptism, clcik the link below!

Baptism Request

Core Values

Our core values shape our identity as Jesus followers. We want to make disciples who reflect the character, life, and mission of Jesus. As we look at the Gospels we see Jesus dwelling in three different relationships: 1) with the Father (Worship), 2) with the disciples (Connect), and 3) with the world (Serve). We as Jesus-followers want to strive for health in these three relationships.


Jesus had an intimate relationship with the Father. God invites us into a covenant relationship with him through Jesus. God initiates this relationship and we cultivate it through prayer, praise, receiving His Sacraments (Baptism and The Lord’s Supper) and through reading, hearing, meditating upon, and studying His Word. However, worship is not limited to these things but is also living out our identity as children of God in our every day lives. This is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1, John 15:5, Acts 2:42)


Jesus called his disciples so that they might be with him. Following His example, we desire to live in close community with other believers; loving, caring for, encouraging, and challenging one another to live out our calling in Christ. (Mark 3:14b, Acts 2:42, John 13:34)


Jesus came to serve. As His followers, we seek to serve Him and our neighbor in need. The greatest service we can share with our neighbor is the Good News of salvation in Jesus. We desire to see social justice and cultural renewal in the community of Ankeny, the greater Des Moines metro, and the world. (Galatians 6:10a, Mark 10:45, Acts 2:45)


God the Creator

  • For an in depth look at our church’s view on creation and the environment, read the document, “Together with All Creatures” put out by the CTCR (Commission on Theology and Church Relations).
  • Answers in Genesis” is a great resource for grappling Creation v. Evolution debates and other science/faith issues.   Click HERE to go to their website.
  • Participating in the local food economy is one fantastic way to honor God as Creator and get in touch with his creation.  Click HERE to learn how Lutheran Services of Iowa partners with refugees seeking jobs in agriculture here in the Des Moines area and how you might partner with them as well in their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Lutheran Family Services

Lutheran Family Services

In need of counseling services?  Check out our partners in ministry at Lutheran Family Services of Iowa.  Click on this link http://lfsiowa.org to visit their webpage.  They offer individual and family counseling, mental health counseling, marriage counseling, and pregnancy and adoption support.

Useful Links