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What We Believe

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”   Ephesians 2:8

We hold these core theological beliefs as a congregation:

The Triune God - We believe in the Triune God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—mysteriously three in one. God created and loves all creation.  We believe that God’s son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God’s Spirit is active in our lives and in this world.

Jesus Christ and Salvation -  Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death and resurrection God fashions a new creation. We teach that all people are sinners. A person is saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We live not according to a formula of dos and don’ts, but in the true freedom of Christian love and responsibility.

The Scriptures - We believe that the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation, centering in Jesus Christ.  Through them, God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world. The Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

The Creeds and Confessions - This church accepts the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds and accepts the teaching of the Augsburg Confession as a faithful witness to the scriptures.

The Church - We believe that belonging to a church community is part of the Christian faith. We believe that the church is a fellowship of those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and are called to worship and reveal God in the world. We believe, as members of Christ’s body, that all Christians are called and gifted to serve the world.

St John’s is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The ELCA is a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. Our faith is built around a strong belief in God, as made known to us in Jesus Christ. Through worship, service and education, we practice our faith, grow our relationship with God, and experience God's grace in our lives. We also work hard to put our faith into action. In today’s complex world, we strive to make a difference in practical, realistic ways.

With nearly 9,500 congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and nearly 3.5 million members, we welcome you to experience this church right in your community. Explore the ELCA and help us celebrate our gift of faith – with action. For more information on the ELCA, go to

In addition to the national church body, the ELCA is divided into 65 synods. St John’s is part of the North Carolina Synod, which has its headquarters here in Salisbury, NC. Each of the ELCA's synods elects a bishop and other officers. As the synod's pastor, the bishop oversees the ministry of other pastors and congregations. The NC Synod bishop is the Rev. Dr. Timothy M. Smith, who grew up at St. John’s. Together with his staff, the bishop provides support to congregations and leaders. This includes assistance in calling pastors and other staff to congregations, support in times of difficulty and congregational conflict, and joining in the celebrations of congregations.

The mission of the NC Synod is “Walking Together – Sharing Christ.” Its vision is that “together we center our life in worship, prayer and scripture; identify and equip leaders; support the ministries of congregations; reach out through witness and service to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a changing world; and serve as stewards of the property and resources of the synod.”