St. James is a family of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are non-denominational, but voluntarily connected to a group of like-minded churches called the Evangelical Association of Reformed & Congregational Christian Churches for fellowship. We were founded as a German Evangelical church over 100 years ago in our neighborhood, grounded firmly in the teachings of the Bible, as understood by the Reformers. We are doctrinally Reformed, hold to what is known as the 5 Solas of the Reformation, identify strongly with the Biblical interpretations and teachings of Martin Luther, and seek to be Evangelical by sharing the life-giving grace of God in Christ with others who, like we once were, are “dead in their trespasses and sin.” The belief statement below summarizes our core beliefs:
- We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of mankind, and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.
- We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
- We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict mankind, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living for service.
- We believe that mankind was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
- We believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provide the only grounds for the justification and salvation for sinful mankind. That salvation is a gift of God’s grace, received by those who through faith in Christ trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation. In response to their faith, they are born again by means of the Holy Spirit and become children of God.
- We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are sacraments to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.
- We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.
- We believe in the personal and bodily second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to the earth and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the manner of life and service of the believer.
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.
- Baptism is a Sacrament of the Church, instituted by Christ, whereby through the visible sign of water, a public proclamation is made of one’s identification with Jesus Christ and His Church.
- Holy Communion is a Sacrament of the Church instituted by Christ using the visible signs of Bread, representing His body, and The Cup, representing His blood. When partaken, we remember the death of our Lord Jesus. During this sacrament, we acknowledge His presence with us but not specifically in the elements of Communion which remain unchanged.