Who Are Lutherans?
St. James Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (pronounced Sin-id!)
The Basic facts: Lutherans represent the world's largest Protestant group. The 58 million Lutherans can be found on every continent, worshiping in hundreds of languages. In the United States, there are about 9 million Lutherans. While our forefathers were German, today we count members with many ancestries, including North America, African-American, Anglo, Asian, Hispanic, and Indian.

Lutherans Got Started: Lutherans take their name from Martin Luther. He was a German priest who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s. Luther's writing and teaching sparked the Protestant Reformation.Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that He offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift because of Jesus Christ. Luther taught that people--no matter how hard they try--cannot earn God's forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ.

What is the Missouri Synod? 
As members of some 6,100 congregations, we count 2.6 million baptized members in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We emphasize the local congregation where people hear the Word, grow in the Sacraments--namely Baptism and the Lord's Supper-- and then help one another. The Synod was formed in 1847 by 16 congregations, representing German Lutheran settlements in several U.S. locations. It was first known as the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States.

Our Synod--our national organization--serves in support of and on behalf of its local member congregations. Support includes Sunday school lessons, hymn books, resources for ministry, and worship material. Local churches receive help for special areas of ministry to serve people in both the congregation and the community.

As a Synod we combine our strengths and resources to do things that individual congregations can't do. Our headquarters is in St. Louis, MO and we do important things: We send missionaries to other countries, maintain colleges and seminaries, provide food and medicine for needy countries. We also support hospitals, nursing homes, adoption services, and helping programs for individuals and families.

Our Missouri Synod operates the largest Protestant school system in the United States We have over 1,000 pre-schools and day care centers, 998 elementary schools and 64 high schools.