About Kent Memorial

Kent Memorial Lutheran Church is a vibrant and active member of the community on the west side of Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. Located in Sunrise Beach, our members reach out to the community in many ways: volunteering at two local elementary schools; providing Buddy Packs of food so children don’t go hungry over the weekend or over the summer; making stuffed animals and knitted hats and booties for the area hospital; and supporting two local food pantries and thrift stores, a homeless shelter and the area shelter for abused women and children, to name just a few.

Started in 1951 as a mission church of the Kansas Synod of The United Lutheran Church, Kent Memorial is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The original church building was dedicated on April 27, 1952, and named in honor of Kent Zimmerman, 12 years old, who died in the fire that destroyed his family’s home on this site in February, 1949.

Growth of the congregation required additional space, and in 1980, the fellowship hall was enlarged. In 2005, the new sanctuary was built and the fellowship hall again enlarged. The original stained glass can be seen in the Gathering Area. In 1993, the Ireland Memorial Outdoor Chapel was added, in which an early morning service is held during the summer months. It faces the lake in a most inspiring setting for worship.

The history of Kent Memorial Lutheran Church is still being written. We trust that we will remain faithful to our mission:

Hearing God’s Call and Responding in Love,

We Share Jesus With All!

(573) 374-5267


Kent Memorial Lutheran Church is a congregation of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).

“Welcome to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is a church of about 4 million members who actively participate in God’s work in the world. We believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world….

“The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe…

“ELCA congregations are centers for evangelical mission, where people of faith celebrate, learn and connect with one another and others around the world through service and weekly worship. We are a church that belongs to Christ. There is a place for you among our nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us as the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world.”

This is Christ’s church.

There is a place for you here.


Transitional Pastor – The Reverend Carl R. Gauck


Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Pastor Gauck received his Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago. After his ordination, he served congregations in South Holland, Naperville, and several small rural congregations in both Illinois and Missouri. In addition, he served on synod committees for education and long range planning.

After cohosting a Sunday morning talk show on KRCG-TV (Jefferson City, MO) for 8 years, interviewing politicians, pastors, agency heads and a theologian or two, he was called by the Missouri State Senate to be their part time Chaplain while continuing to serve St. Paul’s, Lohman.

Following his retirement from parish ministry in 2007, he began working in transitional ministries, assisting congregations through the process of calling a new pastor.

Pastor Gauck states: “It really has been my pleasure to serve the people of Kent as their transitional pastor for they are a fine, caring congregation that is dedicated to serving others in this community.”

Secretary – Tracy Garrett

(573) 374-5267

Tracy joined the staff in 2010 as secretary. Originally from southern Illinois, Tracy grew up in a Lutheran church. After more than twenty-five years in Texas, Tennessee and Michigan, Tracy and husband Dan moved to the Lake area. She is the director of the Greater Lake Area Chorale, a soloist around the area and is a published romance author. Tracy also serves Kent Memorial as the Director of the adult choir and the Coordinator of Worship and Artistic Ministries.

Custodian – Gail Kruse

President, Church Council – Bill Work



Tracy Garrett, Coordinator of Worship & Artistic Ministries, Director of Adult Vocal Choir

Katie Heaford, Director of Handbell Choir

Vanessa Hebrank, Pianist

Margo Strothmann, Organist/Pianist

Joyce Wanamaker, Organist/Pianist


Worship Schedule


  • 8:15AM Sunday School/Adult Bible Study
  • 9:30AM Worship with Holy Communion


  • 8:00AM  Worship* outdoors in the Ireland Chapel overlooking the Lake
  • 9:00AM  Fellowship time
  • 10:00AM  Worship* indoors in our beautiful Sanctuary

*Holy Communion is celebrated inside on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays; outside on the 2nd & 4th Sundays