St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Three Centuries of Heritage
Organized in 1874, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was established to serve the growing German Lutheran community around Steeleville. The new congregation grew rapidly. The current sanctuary was built in 1897 and enlarged in 1922. Today St. Mark’s has around 1100 baptized members and continues to meet the spiritual needs or the Steeleville community 134 years after its founding.
Making Joyful Noise
“God created…and it was good”, we read in Genesis. All creation is a gift given to us to be used in service and praise to our gracious Lord. God’s gift of music plays an especially important role in our congregation’s worship services. Music is a vehicle to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and a way to respond back to God with our love, praise, and thanks. Here are some examples of the many ways we proclaim the Gospel through music at St. Mark’s.
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St. Mark’s Lutheran School
Teaching Since 1878
In 1878 St. Mark’s congregation purchased six city lots and a ½-acre near the church. One of the buildings on these lots was remodeled for a school. Since the attendance of the school steadily increased, more room was needed to accommodate this growth. In 1885 the decision was made to build a new school building on one of the lots recently purchased. The new 22’ x 36’ building was completed November 3, 1885. School enrollment continued to grow and more school room was needed. To this end an addition was built onto the present building in September 1906.
German was taught in some subjects in the school. Consequently, during World War I St. Mark’s was the target of harassment so it decided to close the school for one year in 1918. The school was reopened in 1919. Growth of membership in the congregation prevailed also in the school, so much that present facilities were overcrowded. A building committee was appointed and the first cornerstone was laid July 1, 1928 for the new St. Mark’s Lutheran School. The new school had three stories and contained an auditorium on the top floor, plus three classrooms, a room for the Ladies Aid, and a full basement. In 1959 the school was remodeled by dividing the auditorium into 3 rooms. The additions and changes were completed in 1960.
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With all Christians, Lutherans trust and respond to the love of the Triune God – one God yet three persons.
God the Father is creator of all that exists. God the Son, Jesus Christ, became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings. He rose to life again in victory over sin, death and Satan. God the Holy Spirit creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Part of being “Lutheran” means that we believe that the Bible is God’s Word. We accept the Bible-based, Christ-centered teachings of Martin Luther and his colleagues as the correct interpretation of God’s Word. They inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 1500s. Luther’s teaching is summarized in three short phrases:
God loves all people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace (undeserved mercy) for Christ Jesus’ sake alone.
By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased forgiveness of sins and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the forgiveness of sins, new life and salvation that it offers. God the Holy Spirit creates this faith (belief, trust) in Christ through the Good News message of the Gospel.
The Bible is God’s Word. Because God Himself inspired the Bible, it is without error and completely reliable. In it God reveals two great messages: His Law (God’s will for how we are to live — yet when we do not follow His will, God’s law shows us our sin); and His Gospel (the Good News of forgiveness for our sins, new life, and salvation in Jesus Christ). This Bible is the only source for Christian life and church practice.