Adelaide Deaf Community Church
The Adelaide Deaf Community Church (ADCC) is an ecumenical congregation of Deaf people served by a pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA).
Weekly services are usually held on Sundays at 11.00am in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) at:
Pilgrim Lutheran Church Magill
21 Edward Street
Magill SA 5072
Occasionally the congregation will travel away to worship (see Away services, below), so if you plan to visit the ADCC, please check service times with the pastor beforehand:
Pastor Michael Prenzler
Phone/SMS 0403 977 155
New members and visitors are always welcome!
A Deaf congregation was established as part of the Royal South Australian Deaf Society in 1890. In 1928 the congregation moved into a custom-built chapel in the society’s new building at 262 South Terrace, Adelaide, where it remained until 2013 when the building was sold. During this time it was served by a number of pastors from various denominations. Most were hearing, although some knew sign language. When they did not, interpreters were provided.
In the 1990s the congregation called a Deaf member of the congregation, John Hoopmann, to become its pastor. After studies in the USA and Adelaide, John was ordained as a pastor of the LCA in 1996 and served the congregation full-time until his retirement in 2017.
In 2013, Pastor John notified the LCA of his intention to retire and the need to find a successor for the Deaf church.
A hearing pastoral theology student already at Australian Lutheran College, Michael Prenzler, heard the call and expressed a willingness to learn Auslan. During his final three years of studying for the ministry, Michael also attended part-time Auslan classes at TAFE and spent time worshipping with the ADCC. Upon his ordination in December 2016, Michael was called jointly by the ADCC and the Magill Lutheran Church congregations to a shared ministry.
The ADCC also decided to worship at Magill to strengthen cooperation between the congregations. Pastor Michael was installed at Magill at a joint service in February 2017. He continues to improve his Auslan and learn more about Deaf culture as he ministers to the ADCC and Magill.
In the 2000s the ADCC began holding ‘away services’. Approximately once a month the ADCC visits another congregation to conduct a service in Auslan. An interpreter is provided so that the hearing hosts are able to follow along. These away services give hearing people the opportunity to better understand the joys and challenges experienced by Deaf Christians, and to promote fellowship within the body of Christ which bridges cultural and linguistic differences.
If you would like to host an away service, please contact Pastor Michael.
How you can help
Please pray that Deaf people may ‘hear’ the gospel and come to faith in Jesus Christ. Pray that God may continue to equip his church for this challenging ministry.
If you know Deaf people, please encourage them to make contact with the ADCC. Deafness can be isolating, but because of the internet we are able to reach out and encourage Deaf Christians wherever they are.
If you are a Christian with Auslan skills, please contact us. There are currently few Christian resources for the Deaf in their native language, but with your help we can change that!
Consider supporting us financially
Please consider making a donation to the Deaf ministry. This can be done online at donation.lca.org.au/project?id=P35081. For alternative payment methods, or to set up a regular contribution, please contact John Schwerdt, on 08 8338 3671 (home) or 0427 713 641 (mobile).