The mission of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church is to reach the lost and disciple the saved by passionately making known the love of Christ through Word and deed.
We teach and respond to the love and mercy of the Triune God: The Father, creator of all that exists; The Son, Jesus Christ who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all people, and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan: and the Holy Spirit, who creates and keeps us in the faith through the Word and Sacraments. These three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Being "Lutheran" means that we accept and teach Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the Reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th centry. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in 3 short phrases: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone.
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent His Son, Jesus to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
Acts 4:12, Acts 15:11, Romans 5:19-21, Ephesians 2:8-9
By His suffering and death, as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives us forgiveness through Him.
Romans 1:16-17, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1-2, Galatians 3:26-27, Ephesians 2:8-9
The Bible is God’s inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
Psalm 119:105, John 1:1, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
From its humble beginnings, St. Paul’s has always existed to proclaim the good news of Jesus to a broken world.
The area’s early settlers were Germans who fled Europe in search of opportunity, freedom, and hope. They first arrived in 1856, followed soon by others. With grit, determination and perseverance, these hardy souls set out to establish families, farms and faith in a harsh new world.
While life was hard, evidence shows that these pioneers did not deprive themselves of the Word of God. One man walked miles, Bible in hand to have a minister read to him. As the story goes, a sudden storm hit and pages floating from his Bible led searchers to his lifeless body. In 1860, the settlers helped to organize Nebraska’s first Lutheran congregation in nearby Fontanelle. In 1868 a group traveled to Beemer, NE to ask a pastor to come and preach to them in this “Brown Creek” area.
The first worship service was held on January 4, 1869 in a public school building a mile west of the current church property. In 1871, discussion began about building a church.
Though details are sketchy, the first mention of a school session was in Summer 1869. It is unclear where these classes were held. In 1877 the pastor began teaching school in the parsonage attic. Since those early days, the Christian Education of children has been a priority for the people of St. Paul’s. Proverbs 22:6 remains central to our congregational life: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
In 1877, the first church building was constructed. In 1890 it was replaced with the current structure. It is remarkable that this building is still serviceable after 120 years of use. This beloved structure has been restored and refurbished through the years. Major tornado damage occurred in 1996, but repairs were made, and today this sturdy building stands as a beacon of God’s light for miles around.
But St. Paul’s Arlington is not about dates and buildings. It is “home.” Spanning three centuries, this congregation has been about the love of God working through His people. Some of us are descendents of those original, gritty pioneer farmers who wanted to make better lives for their families. We say, “Well done, praise God!” Today, our church family regularly welcomes visitors and new members of all walks of life from Arlington and surrounding communities.
The people of St. Paul’s are active in ministry, worship, education, missions and service to our community. We have deep respect for our heritage, and we look to the future with hope and anticipation. The Holy Spirit is at work here. We love the Lord. We are not perfect people. Each of us is part of the broken world that needs the good news of Jesus every day, in every way. Only the grace of God gives us hope for the future.