St. John's was organized in 1870 by a group of German Lutherans living in Elma who held services in the local school house on the corner of Rice and Bowen roads. A few years later the congregation met in its own small chapel (now the preschool: http://stjohnspk.org) on Woodard Road until the present building was erected in 1887. Over 15 pastors have served this congregation in its 135+ years.
St. John's Lutheran Church has its history and foundation in the Lutheran church at large. Lutheranism began over 500 years ago when Dr. Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest and professor of the Bible protested against some of the teachings and practices of the church at that time and called for reform.
Luther is best know for the doctrine of "justification by grace, received in faith" a doctrine which continues to be the cornerstone of the Lutheran Church today. This doctrine contends that salvation is obtained only by virtue of Christ's dying and rising from the dead for our sake and not obtained by our good works and own efforts.
Lutherans continue to hold fast to the teachings of scripture as the norm for life. We celebrate the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as our Lord's continuing presence made know to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
St. John's Lutheran Church of Elma is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. http://www.elca.org/
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