We are a historic Lutheran Christian congregation that goes back to the mid-1800s. If you don't know about Lutheranism, we are not very different from Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. Martin Luther, along with King Henry the VIII, started off the Reformation in the 1500s. Martin Luther questioned the church's position and faithfulness to the Bible, and because he did, the world now has Christianity instead of just Catholicism. We believe in the Bible, the Creeds (historical belief statements), the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. Martin Luther's biggest contribution to Christianity was realizing that God's love, forgiveness, and acceptance are all freely given. Whatever your past, you are loved by God. That is a gift we call Grace.
St. Johannes Lutheran Church is situated in the heart of Charleston’s tourist district. The City Market is two blocks away, and nationally acclaimed restaurants, hotels, and inns are a five-minute walk from the church. Horse-drawn carriages pass our doors many times each day. Gardens, tiny and lush, are a feast for the eyes.
But it hasn’t always been this way. A fire in 1838 destroyed practically the entire neighborhood. Homes were rebuilt, but for the next century, it slowly decayed and became a slum. However, change eventually came. The mid-20th century saw the start of redevelopment. Ansonborough has been transformed – resurrected – to become the beautiful and hospitable place it is today.
Ansonborough’s history is like our own personal histories. Some of it is beautiful, and we’re eager to share it; the slum-like parts bring shame, and we take pains to hide them. Yet, each of us needs transformation and resurrection also – maybe not through bricks, mortar, and stucco but healing and resurrection of body and spirit.
The congregation of St. Johannes has undoubtedly had its ups and downs over the last 135-plus years. Yet, through everything, the congregation has listened to the stories of God’s mighty acts of love shown to the world most clearly in Jesus Christ. We intentionally call to mind all God has done for us, and hope is kindled anew: God still has new paths for us to travel.
We are committed to a ministry of hospitality through which we may share in word and deed the good news of God’s infinite mercy and love. We grow more excited each day about how God is leading this congregation to participate in God’s desire for transformation and healing in a world marred by violence and destruction.
We invite you to hear God’s stories with us, to share Christ’s holy meal, to learn to recognize God’s constant presence among us, and to follow God into great and marvelous adventures of ministry in store for us.
Welcome to St. Johannes!