St. Mark was founded as a Lutheran mission congregation in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling, WV in 1917. Since that time the congregation has grown into a thriving community of faith. St. Mark is currently affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States. As a part of the ELCA, St. Mark is also a member congregation of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod.
What is meant by “Lutheran”? The “Lutheran story” began in the early 1500s in Germany when Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk and priest, along with other leaders, spoke out for major reforms in the larger church. Over time, when the reforms they sought were not accepted by ecclesiastical authorities, a new church-movement developed. Originally called the “Evangelical Church” the movement came to be given the nickname “Lutheran.” Martin Luther himself would probably not be happy with this, as he wanted the main focus of the Church to be on Christ and not on any other individual, including himself. The Lutheran movement quickly spread throughout Germany and Scandinavia and is now found throughout much of the world.
What do we believe? Lutherans believe that God’s redeeming grace is at work for everyone and for all of creation through the life, death, resurrection, and ongoing mission of Jesus Christ. As disciples (followers) of Jesus, we are given the joy and privilege of participating in God’s gracious mission toward one another, our community, and the world. We believe that God’s great purpose of reconciliation and resurrection-life has the last word for us and for all.