Revamped North Dallas church is working hard to be our neighbor

In a country where people are more likely to attend megachurches or simply not go at all, neighborhood congregations are fighting to stay relevant.

Schreiber Memorial United Methodist Church’s story isn’t all that different from many community churches on the precipice of closing.

Schreiber Memorial found a home on Rickover Drive in 1965, and its devout congregation attended services there for 51 years. But the North Dallas church was “nearing the end of one life cycle” and struggled to attract new members, says The Grove pastor Stephen Lohoefer.

The congregation voted to become a Highland Park UMC campus in February. Renamed The Grove Church, it’s expected to reopen in October.

“Our hope is that we have a congregation that has infants all the way up to seniors — the full spectrum of ages and life stages,” Lohoefer says.

The church is undergoing a makeover while its doors are shut. The gym is being transformed into a contemporary worship space, and the kids’ rooms are being updated. Landscaping improvements also are part of Highland Park UMC’s to-do list.

Neighbors have responded positively to the news, Lohoefer says, and the church is reaching out to nearby schools, like Nathan Adams Elementary and W.T. White High School, to see how they can help.

“Our hope is to be a great neighborhood church, and that means being a good neighbor, first and foremost.”


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.
More from Elissa Chudwin

Everyone is talking about Jordan Spieth’s Traveler’s Championship victory. This is why

Thanks to making an improbable shot, pro-golfer Jordan Spieth claimed the Travelers...
Read More
  • Farshad Sadri
  • HP Member

    Forgot to put that if Munger and the Grove maintained the UMC in their name I feel it would help remove the current stigma of UMC-an outdated, dying denomination.

  • HP Member

    Rex- Calm down, Buddy. Guess what- it’s okay to not agree with what your church does 100% of the time. Relax. I still love our church and remain very involved in worship, serving, councils and small group. I prefer that UMC churches do not drop the UMC in their name. The reason is because the United Methodist Church as a whole is dying in this country. HPUMC is continuing the thrive, as is Munger. Young people are not drawn to UMC. on the other hand, non-denominational churches are on the rise. Dropping the UMC is a contrived strategy to be more appealing to younger and un-churched people who would otherwise be more drawn to community, non-denominational churches. And it’s 100% true that Stephen has not completed his coursework and is not ordained. We found a way to skirt by that because Paul will be the head pastor at The Grove and Stephen is just the worship pastor. No clue about the arrest part. I would assume that’s false, though!

  • Farshad Sadri

    I do not tell stories, nor any fibs!
    Pax

  • Jenna Staggs Wertz

    Welcome to the neighborhood! I have been a member of HPUMC for 15 years and have been driving down the Tollway for seven years since moving to North Dallas. Excited to have a community in North Dallas!

  • Jenna Staggs Wertz

    I don’t know much about Stephens past, but I’m pretty sure if he was perfect I wouldn’t be able to relate to him or learn from him. God uses our stories (especially the imperfect ones) to enable us to spread his message of love and forgiveness. Peace.

  • Farshad Sadri

    I don’t support Highland Park UMC, and neither are any of my neighbors who live in this community which has nothing to do with Highland Park. –
    ‘Your body voted what to call it, and they agreed?’

  • Rex

    Are you saying you don’t stand behind Pastor Paul and support the HPUMC staff? Because this says you don’t! We don’t use UMC in our name, but we are still 100% UMC! Everyone will know the Grove is UMC by it being an extension of HPUMC! Your body voted what to call it, and they agreed.

  • HP member

    Yes, Rex. I know that. I’ve been an HPUMC member for 15 years. I don’t like that they plant churches and drop the “UMC” part of their name. Do they think being a UMC is not hipster enough sounding. Super lame. At least at Munger Place there was still a bit of history to the name. The Grove is totally random, fake and desperately trying to be hip and relevant.

  • Neighbor

    .The Grove Church is a HPUMC hostile take-over of Schreiber Memorial Methodist Church. They closed the Schreiber Preschool for no reason. The only preschool in the whole neighborhood.

  • Rex Stark III

    The Grove Church is a UMC
    An extension on HPUMC!

  • Lkay

    What are Highland Park United Methodist Church is doing in Preston Hollow/North Dallas?
    Why the “predatory practices.”?

  • Farshad Sadri

    The preacher (Rev. Stephen Lohoefer), and his church (The Grove Church) are my neighbor.

    They are not building a new church! They took over a 70-year-old neighborhood church (Schreiber Memorial Methodist Church), which had an indoor Basketball court. They converted the Basketball court in to a worship center (the ‘Grove Church’), killed all the trees (clear-cut), flattened the children’s playground, turned it to a parking-lot, closed the Schreiber Pre-school (the Pre-school was serving the neighborhood for the last 49-years), and put a couple of signs up on the front saying “Gather at the Grove”. I wonder if they know what ‘Grove’ means.

    They killed total of nine (9) green healthy trees (clear-cut). Some were 40-year-old beautiful Oak trees, just to open room for a 70 cars parking-lot for their worship-center. Love your neighbor!

    I have the least amount of respect for this arrogant, raciest man, and even less reverence for his forged church, and its predatory practices.

    The Grove Church’s pastor declaration that “Our hope is to be a great neighborhood church, and that means being a good neighbor, first and foremost,” lacks substance and sincerity, and that neither I nor any of my good neighbors will ever attend his church.
    .

  • HP member

    Kind of tired of these generic Church names and Church services that are trying too hard to be “hip” and “relevant”. “The Grove”?! Why? And why not keep a piece of the original name or at least maintain UMC?

  • Rex

    I would recommend you speak with The Sr Pastor of HPUMC or The Bishop on your concerns!

  • Farshad Sadri

    How, a 33-year-old youth counselor, with two arrest record and one DWI (who hasn’t really completed his school-work yet), can be commissioned as an elder pastor of an off-shoot church at HPUMC?
    How am I incorrect?

  • Rex Stark III

    You are incorrect sir!
    Statements are false!

  • Farshad Sadri

    The preacher (Rev. Stephen Lohoefer), and his church (The Grove Church) are my neighbor.

    They are not building a new church! They took over a 70-year-old neighborhood church (Schreiber Memorial Methodist Church), which had an indoor Basketball court. They converted the Basketball court in to a worship center (the ‘Grove Church’), killed all the trees (clear-cut), flattened the children playground, turned it to a parking-lot, closed the Schreiber Pre-school (the Pre-school was serving the neighborhood for 49-years), and put a couple of signs up on the front saying “Gather at the Grove”. I wonder if they know what ‘Grove’ means.

    They killed total of nine (9) green healthy trees (clear-cut). Some were 40-year-old beautiful Oak trees, just to open room for a 70 cars parking-lot for their worship-center. Love your neighbor!

    I have the least amount of respect for this arrogant, raciest man, and even less reverence for his forged church, and its predatory practices.

    The Grove Church’s pastor declaration that “Our hope is to be a great neighborhood church, and that means being a good neighbor, first and foremost,” lacks substance and sincerity, and that neither I nor any of my good neighbors will ever attend his church.

  • Farshad Sadri

    The preacher (Rev. Stephen Lohoefer), and his church (The Grove Church) are my neighbor.
    They are not building a new church, they took-over a 70-year-old Church, (Scheiber memorial Methodist Church) which had an indoor Basketball court. They renovated the basketball court into a worship center (the ‘Grove Church’) Killed all the trees, flattened the children’s playground, closed the Pre-school, turned it to a parking-lot, and put a couple of signs up on the front saying “Gather at the Grove.” I wonder if they know what ‘Grove’ means!
    They killed total of nine (9) green healthy tress. Some were 40-year-old beautiful Oak trees, just to open room for a 70 cars parking-lot for their worship-center. Love your neighbor!
    I have the least amount of respect for this arrogant man, and even less reverence for his forged church, and its predatory practices
    The Grove pastor’s declaration that “Our hope is to be a great neighborhood church, and that means being a good neighbor, first and foremost,” lacks sincerity and genuineness, and that neither I, nor any of my good neighbors will ever attend his church.

  • Farshad Sadri

    How, a 33-year-old youth counselor, with two arrest record and one DWI (who hasn’t really completed his school-work yet), can be commissioned as an elder pastor of an off-shoot church at HPUMC?

  • Farshad Sadri

    The tree-killing preacher (Rev. Stephen Lohoefer), and his phony church (The Grove Church) are my neighbor.
    He killed total of nine (9) green healthy tress. Some were 40-year-old beautiful Oak trees, just to open room for a 70 cars parking-lot for his worship-center.
    I have the least amount of respect for this arrogant, raciest man, and even less reverence for his forged church, and its predatory practices (Mark 12:30-31).
    Love your neighbor!