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About Our Church

Our Purpose, Vision, Mission and History

Our Purpose
To Be and Make Disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Vision
Learning, Living, Growing with Christ as our leader.

Our Mission Statement
St. John’s Lutheran Church, a caring Family of God, exists so all may know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Therefore, we share God’s Love and Grace with Joy, intending to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, His Church and in our witness to the community and the world.

Our History

Legally, the history of St. John’s Lutheran Church began May 5, 1839 when, by an Act of the Ohio Legislature, part of what was known as the United Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Friedens (Peace) Church was incorporated as a separate English speaking congregation and received the name of St. John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church.


However, old records of the church indicate it had been functioning under that name at least seven years prior to that time.

Further research into old church records, parish papers and letters, copies of early newspapers, books of the history of Zanesville and Muskingum County and other sources, evidence the fact that St. John’s can be traced back to the year 1803 when Nicholas Border and his wife, Elizabeth, with their infant daughter came to Zanesville. Other Lutheran families quickly followed: those of John Alter , Sr., Michael Sockman, George Clapper, Philip Munch, Jacob Mercer, Jacob Rees, and others.

These were German immigrants who had crossed the Allegheny Mountains seeking the fertile lands of the Ohio country. The organization of the first church was effected June 8, 1813. The original log structure was replaced by a frame building in 1820.

In 1824 a new name, the United Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed (Friedens) Church was adopted. In 1839, the English speaking group separated from the Friedens Church to form St. John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church.

In the articles in incorporation dated May 26, 1919, two words were omitted from the old name) St. John’s English Evangelical Church) and the new name given as St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The vestibule of the current church, located at the corner of Seventh and Market Streets, was dedicated September 11, 1927.

Our Core Values and Statements with Bible References

We are committed to a Grace Orientation. We enter into a relationship with God by what God does for us through Jesus. Knowing that we are all sinners, we trust completely in God’s grace to save us and give us eternal life with Him. This gift is received through faith in Christ. We see ourselves as chosen to share God’s gift of grace to bring God’s blessings to the world. [Romans 3:21-31; Romans 6:1-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:18– 21; Titus 3:4-7]

We are committed to Discipleship. The church is the Body of Christ where we are taught to be disciples. God has chosen and called each of us to be followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit equips and empowers everyone for ministry. [John 15:16; Mark 8:34-35; Ephesians 4:12; Acts 1:8].

We are committed to Bible Centered Preaching and Teaching. Scripture is God’s inspired Word for the purpose of transforming, training and equipping all to live according to the Holy Scriptures. Biblical authority guides our practice and understanding of faith. [James 1:22; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; John 8:31-32]

We are committed to Weekly Worship and Praise. It is God’s will that we worship weekly to celebrate God’s goodness, build up the body of believers, hear God’s Word, and be nourished through Holy Communion. Gathering in the presence of God, with joy in our hearts, we rejoice and give thanks to the Lord while receiving God’s peace. [Psalm 100; Phillippians 4:4-7; Exodus 20:8; Hebrews 10:25]

We are committed to Being a People Who Love Christ and One Another. No one can love God for us. We must individually stay connected to Christ through an abiding relationship. Motivated by His sacrificial love for us, we will strive to demonstrate His love by considering others more important than ourselves. Therefore we share our love of Christ by the giving of our time, talent, and resources. Through the Word of God, prayer, worship and obedience, we can love God with heart, soul, mind and strength. [John 13:34-35; John 3:16-17; Matthew 25:35-40; Luke 15:1-7; 1 John 4:7-12; John 15]

We are committed to Continual Learning and Spiritual Growth. We are each called to develop our spiritual gifts and become mature in Christ. [Colossians 1:28-29; 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:1-2]

We are committed to Evangelism. Christ commands us, His disciples, saying, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” Every member is called to communicate the live-changing message of salvation through Jesus Christ and to invite others to a life of faith. [Matthew 28:19-20]

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