St. Paul’s is old—founded in 1839. We were founded as a German speaking church because our founders were determined that the gospel should be understood. We didn’t remain a German speaking church, but while our founders were learning English, they needed to hear and speak the comfort and challenges of the gospel in language that they could understand. That is still our purpose—to help people hear and speak the gospel of Jesus Christ in terms that they can understand.
In an age that idolizes novelty and youth, age can be seen as an impediment, but we don’t see it that way. We find that our age provides us with wisdom and maturity, qualities sorely lacking in today’s world. Yet, we’re not stiff with tradition. We don’t let tradition run roughshod over us. As Jesus said, “The Sabbath (tradition) was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:22).
We are liturgical, but not stiff or stuffy. Liturgical means that we find meaning in the symbolism of Sunday worship patterns. We are evangelical, but not fundamentalist. Evangelical means that we believe that all Christians find new life in Christ. We are sacramental in a broad sense, in that we believe that all of life is sacred, that it belongs to God. And we are spiritual, but not dreamy or lost in the stars. Jesus taught that there are no areas of life that are devoid of the Holy Spirit. As Christians we are in the Holy Spirit wherever we go.
We are affiliated with the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Churches (known as the “Evangelical Association” or the EARCC), which perfectly matches our founding character and tracks with our long history. The Germans who founded St. Paul’s were not Lutheran, though they came from Germany, Martin Luther’s home. Neither were they Roman Catholic. Rather, they were broad-based Protestants, Calvinists—and the early Calvinists were a generous, grace-filled people. They were fed up with the religious wars that tore Europe apart in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They came to America looking for peace, prosperity, and the hope of the gospel. They were independent minded, like the early Congregationalists, who had come to Marietta with a spirit of Christian unity.
Of course, we are not German any more, but the spirit of common understanding, cooperation, peace, and the hope of the gospel are still with us. This is our mission, and if this mission resonates with you, we need your help promoting these things in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Come, join us for worship, because that is where it all begins!
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We affirm the following:
- The Trinitarian name of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- God has revealed Himself fully and decisively as attested in Holy Scripture. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. The Scriptures are the guide of faith and life.
- There is only one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ.
- The sanctity of human life at every stage based on our creation in the image of God and our election by God for service in His kingdom.
- The Biblical guidelines for human sexuality: marriage as the union of one man and one woman, chastity outside of marriage, lifelong fidelity and holiness in marriage for the sake of the Kingdom.
- That the mission of the Church is to spread the good news of the Gospel of salvation in every word and deed. We are sent by Christ into all the world to bring every person into a life of faith, discipleship and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.