St. Paul’s, the church with a heart in the heart of downtown Toledo is a welcoming family.
We welcome long-time Lutherans, Christians from every tradition, and people new to faith. We welcome all those who have no church home, those who want to follow Christ, those who have doubts and those who do not believe. St Paul’s welcomes new visitors and old friends. People of every age and size, color and culture, every sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, marital status, ability and challenge are welcome at St Paul’s. We welcome believers, questioners and questioning believers. St Paul’s is a place where you are welcome to celebrate and sorrow, rejoice and recover. St Paul’s is a place where lives are made new.
St Paul’s is a congregation which hopes to be welcomed into the downtown community of Toledo.
To grow as children of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, to boldly witness to Jesus’ saving grace.
We have been adopted by God through Jesus Christ and in response St Paul’s is to be an adoptive community. Growing as the children of God means adopting, and being adopted, by the downtown community. This adoption into family is evidenced in our core values and guiding principles which are;
- Worship: Jesus is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
In worship we are reminded that we have been adopted as true sisters and brothers of Jesus through baptism. Having been empowered ty this adoptive blessing through worship our mission is to go out in Jesus’ name to adopt and grow the downtown community as our sisters and brothers.
- Welcoming: ALL people experience Jesus love at St Paul’s.
St Paul’s highly values social and community events which assist in nurturing the children of God so that all may experience Jesus’ saving grace. As a family St Paul’s values diversity and inclusion. St Paul’s seeks to actively engage with the local community so that all people will know they are welcomed and fed by Jesus.
- Caring for each other: We are all family members caring for each other.
Every person is highly valued at St Paul’s. The physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all members of the St Paul’s family – those who are able to attend St Paul’s, and those who are not able to attend, are nurtured by the staff and volunteers.
- Learning to live the Christian life: Living abundantly is a life-long learning journey.
In response to the abundant life Jesus has given us members and friends of St Paul’s highly value opportunities to grow to be like Jesus. Growing to be the children of God, with the power of the Holy Spirit, influences how we live lives of grace.
- The community needs us and we need the community: We are blessed to be a blessing.
There are many physical, emotional and spiritual needs in the wider community. For this community St Paul’s is the church with a heart in the heart of downtown Toledo. As adopted members of one family we serve, because people need what we have: the abundant life given by Jesus. We also need to be adopted by the community in order for us to grow as the family God intended us to be.
St Paul’s will be the Christ centered hub of abundant life in downtown Toledo.
OUR CORE VALUES
1. Worship: Jesus is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
We value the worship of the Triune God and this value influences everything we do at St Paul’s. St Paul’s values the historic building in which our worship usually takes place. St Paul’s also values richness and variety in its musical and liturgical tradition. Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, The Word and Prayer in the name of Jesus are central to who we are as God’s people.
2. Welcoming: All people experience Jesus love at St Paul’s.
Fellowship is a core value of St Paul’s. St Paul’s highly values social and community events which welcome both members and visitors alike. St Paul’s values diversity and inclusion. St Paul’s seeks to actively engage with the local community so that all people will know they are welcomed by Jesus.
3. Caring for each other: We are all Ministers caring for each other.
The involvement of Pastors and Lay people in caring for every member is highly valued at St Paul’s. The physical, emotional and spiritual needs of members who are able, and those who are not able, to attend St Paul’s are nurtured by staff and volunteers.
4. Learning to live the Christian life: Living abundantly is a life-long learning journey.
In response to the abundant life Jesus has given us – members and friends of St Paul’s highly value opportunities to learn more about Jesus and how this knowledge, with the power of the Holy spirit, influences the way we live.
5. The community needs us: We are blessed to be a blessing.
There are many physical, emotional and spiritual needs in our community. For this community St Paul’s is the church with a heart in the heart of downtown Toledo. We serve, because people need what we have: the abundant life given by Jesus.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1857. A more detailed history can be found below. We are part of the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. What’s a Lutheran, you ask? Click here to dig deeper into what Lutherans believe and the tradition from which we get our name.
Our style of worship could be considered “traditional” by some, as our grand organ takes center stage in many of our services. However, we blend in many musical elements into our service, including jazz, contemporary, and global music. On the first Sunday of each month, our beloved “St. Paul’s Trio” leads us in jazzy hymns that lift our spirits. The members of our handbell and vocal choirs joyfully share their gifts and talents with us as they proclaim God through the beauty of song.
We understand that true worship takes many forms, so we do not fuss too much about the style as much as we desire to clearly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in all we say and do. We follow the liturgical calendar and our readings generally come from theNarrative Lectionary. Every part of our liturgy is broadcast on an easy-to-read screen so you can feel at ease during the service. Bulletins and large-print bulletins are also available, as well as hearing devices for those who desire them.
The decision to dress up or dress casually for church is entirely up to you – we encourage you to “come as you are.” St. Paul’s is a diverse community where everyone seems to blend right in despite perceived differences in outward appearance.
Holy Communion is offered every Sunday with very few exceptions. All people are welcome at Holy Communion. It is a meal hosted by Jesus himself and Jesus leaves no one out.
If you have not yet received God’s gracious gift of baptism, read more about it here and inquire with one of the pastors – baptisms of both adults and children are celebrated in our congregation with great gusto, as we want all people to know of the assurance of eternal and abundant life God offers through this sacrament.
While worship is the cornerstone of our life together as Christians, we live out our faith in many other ways, including study, prayer, service, stewardship, and fellowship. Please explore our site to learn more and imagine where you might like to get involved at St. Paul’s.
For more information, please read A Brief History of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Toledo. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us at any time. We want to hear from you!
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has a rich 160 year history of innovative worship and outreach that has adapted to meet the changing needs of its congregation and surrounding community. Many landmark events, including the formation of the American Lutheran Church (1930), took place in its sanctuary that still boasts seating for 800 and one of the largest pipe organs in Northwest Ohio. By 1927 the building included a large auditorium, gymnasium with showers and beautifully adorned spaces for meetings. It was an exquisite example of Gothic architecture in the heart of Toledo.
Throughout its history, St. Paul’s has remained involved and committed to the downtown Toledo community. For almost thirty years, its pastors organized large community Christmas Eve and Easter services at the local Paramount theatre where the stage was transformed into a massive choir loft for church choirs and musicians. In the 1940s, Sunday evening services were started to accommodate the schedules of downtown “war workers”. In the 1950s St. Paul’s purchased and operated Camp Hemlock in Michigan, so city youth of Toledo could have a rural, camp environment for summer learning and fun. Shortly after that, St. Paul’s started one of the first housing units for over 200 seniors living in the downtown area.
By 1967, much of the Toledo residential population had moved to the suburbs. Proposals were put before the congregation numerous times to follow trends and relocate, but with each vote, the group held to their decision to remain downtown. The commitment to serve this area has remained steadfast, even as economic changes have impacted the city.