We Believe


As Christians, we believe that the whole universe and all that it contains is created by one God, who has revealed Himself to man in history as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through mankind's disobedience to God, sin, death, and corruption entered into the world. Yet out of love for His creation, the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ, who took on human flesh and became a man so that He could pay the penalty for sin with His own death on the cross. He rose again in victory over sin and death and will come again to judge the living and the dead. All those who believe this good news and trust in Him will be saved and enjoy the reversal of sin's effects forever.

 A very brief summary of what Scripture teaches can be found in the Apostles' Creed.

What is a Lutheran?

Martin Luther was a 16th-century German monk and theologian who, through study of the sacred Scriptures, re-discovered the gospel message of salvation by faith in Christ alone. Over the centuries, a number of abuses and false teachings had arisen in the church that obscured the gospel. Luther and his fellow reformers worked tirelessly to correct these abuses, so that Christian could have the assurance of salvation because of what Christ has done for us through His death and resurrection.

The term Lutheran was originally a term of derision devised by Luther's enemies to discredit his followers and his teaching. Over the years, the name stuck and Lutheran became a convenient way to refer to those who believe and teach the truth of Scripture as taught by Martin Luther.


Martin Luther

It's important to note that today, not every church that is called Lutheran adheres to the same beliefs. Unfortunately, in modern times a number of Lutheran church bodies have abandoned the clear teaching of God's Word in favor of the world's teaching. It is vital to compare a church's beliefs and practices with what God says in His Word. 

Our Standard of Doctrine

Our church teaches that the Holy Scriptures are the only source and judge of doctrine because they are the very Word of God. They are God's universal word for all places and times. They are not ours to twist and conform to what we want to believe. Rather, God calls us to repent and conform to what He has spoken. All other teachers and teachings are to be judged by what God says in Scripture.

Because many people appeal to Scripture while teaching contrary to it, the church has always found it necessary to have statements of belief called creeds (from Latin for "I believe") for the purpose of setting apart true teaching from false teaching.


Book of Concord

Lutherans adhere to a group of creeds and confessions that collectively are called The Book of Concord. This book sets forth clearly what our churches teach on the basis of God's Word, in response to a variety of historical church controversies and questions.

Two of the best places to start in exploring our doctrine are the Small Catechism and the Augsburg Confession. Their brevity and clarity make them the ideal places to go to begin to learn about what Lutherans teach on the basis of Holy Scripture.


Zion is a member congregation of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS), a nationwide church body of nearly 6,000 congregations that share the same beliefs and the same mission.


The LCMS is organized into 35 districts. Zion belongs to the South Dakota District.

More information and answers to questions about our church's teachings can be found at the LCMS website's beliefs and practices page.

Tour an LCMS Church

This video tour of a sister LCMS church is a great introduction to what Lutherans believe and how we worship:

The full series of videos can be found here.