Solomon Lutheran Church is a body of believers, fully alive in Christ, serving others, and growing in the gift of grace.
A Brief History of Solomon Lutheran Church
On the third Sunday in Advent in 1841, Rev. George Cronenwett delivered his first sermon to The German Lutheran Church of Woodville Township. 2021 marked 180 years of ministry that began when our German Lutheran forefathers settled here in The Great Black Swamp. There were occasional visit by circuit riding ministers that occurred earlier; however, this was the beginning of an organized church with their own pastor. Solomon Lutheran School, the oldest continuing to educate parochial school in the ELCA, opened shortly after in 1862 and has been an on-going ministry and mission of the church.
Many families that attend Solomon Lutheran Church are a part a long chain of generations to call this church family their home; however, our congregation is beautifully diverse in its membership. There is no doubt that you and yours are fully welcomed into our community from the moment you step through our doors!
What We Believe
As Christians, Lutherans believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. We believe Jesus is God’s own son, sent by God to become human. As the son of God, Jesus is divine, but he was also a human being who lived among us on earth, over 2,000 years ago. Followers of Jesus are part of God’s people, whose heritage includes the Jewish people and the Christian Church throughout the world today. Our beliefs are summarized in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds.
Solomon Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran group in North America. Solomon holds to the basic Lutheran principles of Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
- We are saved by the grace of God alone — not by anything we do;
- Our salvation is through faith alone — a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life, and salvation; and
- The Bible is the norm for faith and life — the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Our Guiding Principles
- Every individual is precious in the eyes of God, and is welcomed to experience the comfort, strength and joy of belonging to his family.
- We treasure our foundation in the Gospel and share it with others.
- Our worship glorifies God as a celebration of life in Christ.
- In response to God’s love for us, we seek and provide opportunities to serve in the model of Jesus Christ.
- We acknowledge our time, talent and possessions as blessings from God and joyfully return our first fruits. In gratitude for his abundance, we act as careful stewards.
- We cherish the history and culture of Solomon Lutheran, and build on it for future generations.
- We are called to grow in the knowledge of God and His grace.
A Brief History of Lutheranism
Martin Luther was one person through whom God reformed the church. When Luther was born in Germany in 1483, the Church was in bad shape. For years it had been plagued by corrupt and inept leaders – priests, bishops, even popes.
There was much religious ignorance and superstition. Few church-members knew much about the Bible; pronouncements by the church and its leaders were held up before the people as the supreme authority. The Gospel of God’s forgiveness as a free gift, which is ours only through faith in Jesus, was largely forgotten and seldom proclaimed. Instead, people were encouraged to rely on their own good works and religious performances to get right with God.
Luther, too, was brought up to think of God as an angry judge who was waiting to punish him for his sins. As a spiritually-earnest young man, Luther decided to become a monk; he believed that, if he led a good religious life, he would make himself acceptable to God. But he found no peace; his sins continued to torment him constantly.
The church soon ordained Luther as a priest, and later made him a Doctor of Theology. While studying and lecturing on the Bible (especially the Epistle to the Romans), Luther came to realize that a good standing before God does not depend on our own efforts, but is due entirely to God’s mercy shown to us through Jesus. We are saved not by works, but by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ. Luther had discovered the good news that God is for us for Jesus’ sake.
In 1530, the “Lutherans” (as Luther’s followers had been nicknamed) prepared a statement of their teachings for presentation to a meeting of leaders of church and state at Augsburg. This statement – now known as the Augsburg Confession – became the first official “confession” or doctrinal statement of the Lutheran Church. Fifty years later, all the confessions of the Lutheran Church were published in the Book of Concord.
By the time Luther died in 1546, the Lutheran Reformation had spread through much of Europe, especially the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, as well as Germany. Political events prevented the Lutheran Church from establishing itself in the British Isles, but Luther’s teachings greatly influenced the Protestant Reformation in both England and Scotland.
Lutheran missionaries have taken the Gospel of Christ to most countries of the world. The Lutheran Church was brought to other countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia by immigrants from Europe, some of whom left their homeland seeking freedom of worship.