Who We Are at OSELC
We are an assembly of those who are gathered by the SPIRIT of the LORD around His saving Word and Sacraments. At the center of our life together is the Divine Service of JESUS CHRIST, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. By His Holy Cross and Resurrection, we are given forgiveness and new life in His Name. We invite you to share with us in these gifts and so to grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD. Through him, we are called out of darkness and into God's marvelous light.
Our Pastor: Father Raymond D. Parent, II
Deaconess Heather Bien
The Lord has blessed our congregation with Deaconess Heather Bien, who completed her studies through Concordia Theological Seminary at Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2019 and received her call to Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church in Crestview, FL that same year. She assists the pastor in many areas such as serving as the Children's Sunday School and Women's Bible Study teacher, Editor of the church's newsletter, Chairman of the Altar Guild, and performing other works of mercy. She is also a Physician Assistant practicing part-time at a local private practice.
President Alex Franco
Born to the late German Franco and Eusebia (Suarez-Abelenda) Franco in La Habana, Cuba, Alex was baptized into Christ at Nuestra Señora Del Carmen (Our Lady of St. Carmen) on 25 May 1962 in La Habana, Cuba. He emigrated (legally) with his family to Chicago, IL in June 1966 under President Johnson’s “Freedom Flights” program for political dissidents from Cuba. After five seasons of sub-freezing temperatures and snowy weather, they resettled to Hialeah, FL in 1971 where Alex later graduated from Hialeah High School in 1980.
In 1984, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force through Air Force ROTC. Alex completed pilot training and was retained as a T-38A instructor pilot at Vance AFB in Enid, OK. Later, Alex flew two tours in the F-4G Wild Weasel and deployed many times from Spangdahlem and his later assignment from Nellis AFB, NV. He had never been associated with a tighter-knit group of air warriors than in these deployed units and managed to keep the number of landings equal to the number of takeoffs!
Alex again served as an instructor pilot at Holloman AFB, NM, this time teaching German Air Force pilots and weapons system officers to employ the F-4F. Alex and his family later moved to Tyndall AFB in Panama City, FL, and became the flying unit’s operations officer and his congregation’s head elder (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Callaway). It was here that he learned the finer points of Lutheran doctrine while being nurtured by a faithful pastor who treated him much better than he deserved.
Alex and his family moved to Crestview, FL in 2014, where he became the head elder in 2015 and the congregation’s president in 2017. He currently works for the Air Force at Eglin AFB as the deputy chief of flight safety for Eglin AFB and Duke Field.
Born February 7, 1955 to the late James E. Parent and Barbara (Nicastro) Parent in Detroit, Michigan, Pastor Parent was baptized in June 1956 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Detroit. He moved with his family to La Puente, California, in 1971 where he graduated high school in 1973.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in which he served from 1973-75. In 1975 he was awarded one of four full Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships given to active duty airmen and attended Kent State University, Kent Ohio where he graduated in 1978, a newly minted second lieutenant with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
After graduation and commissioning, Pastor Parent attended flight training at Mather AFB, California, receiving his wings in August 1979 and served with honor until his retirement in June 1999. During his nearly 23 year career he was assigned eight years in Europe at two bases in Germany, several stateside assignments, including one at the Pentagon, and one with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Division Air Liaison Officer and Squadron Commander, parachute jump qualified Master Parachutist in both static-line and military free fall, having a total of 140 parachute jumps. Pastor Parent also flew over 100 hours in 31 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.
After retiring from the Air Force, Pastor Parent began his pastoral studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in May 2003 and having served his vicarage at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lockport, Illinois.
Pastor Parent’s first call was to Hope Lutheran Church, Bellaire, MI where he was ordained and installed on the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and served the people of God in that place for six years. Then he served as the pastor for Redford Evangelical Lutheran Church in Detroit, MI, before coming to Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Crestview, FL in 2020.