About Saxe Gotha
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian is a family of believers that strives to make a difference in people's lives while developing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church is home to more than 1200 members who love to worship God, fellowship with each other, and learn from the Bible via our many church ministries. With a mission to "Give God JOY through Worship, Growth and Service," our members are putting God's words into action every day.
We welcome individuals and families to visit and experience firsthand what Saxe Gotha Presbyterian has to offer you. Located in the heart of Lexington, South Carolina, we have three worship services and Sunday school for all ages on Sunday mornings, small groups that meet at various times weekly or monthly, classes on Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights, and so much more. Come worship with us and see how God's love can make a difference in your life by joining our family at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church!
History in Brief
In 1975, the Congaree Presbytery (now Trinity Presbytery) purchased seven acres of land "outside" of Lexington County, South Carolina. Its purpose was hopefully to be the site of a new sanctuary, in which a new church family would begin to grow here in Lexington, SC. The next year, an additional four acres were added for a total of 11 acres, all at the purchase price of $75,000.00.
In 1980 a community-wide survey was taken to see if there was sufficient need in the area for a Presbyterian church. At the time it was decided that there was not presently a need. Yet, just a year later in 1981 there seemed to be a change in the Presbyterian population; a group of "concerned" Presbyterians asked the Presbytery to start a church here in Lexington. Apparently these requests were taken to heart, because later that year the Presbytery agreed to begin breaking ground on the land purchased in Lexington County.
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian's first worship service was held on February 14, 1982 with only 14 people present. Soon after, the church began to grow and had to move to the present location in December of 1984. With membership already at 175 members, they moved to the first building outside the newly created bell tower, which is now known as the Fellowship Hall. This building served as the primary worship location until the late 1980's, when the numbers outgrew the pews. Everyone knew it was then the time to build a larger place of worship.
Construction on the present sanctuary began in 1989, and the first service held there was on Palm Sunday in 1991. The church membership had grown from 14 in 1982 to 550 ten years later. It was during this same year of 1992 when the rooms beneath the Sanctuary were completed at a cost of $1.9 Million for the first two phases.
In 1994, Saxe Gotha's leadership and members began the second phase of the building initiative. The Total Life Center, complete with classrooms, a Gym, a computer room, a kitchen and a serving area, was completed in 1995 at a cost exceeding $2.7 Million. The TLC was a wonderful addition that created space for recreation, large group events and church-wide meals, as well as space for pragmatic purposes. (Note that members now refer to the TLC and Fellowship Hall combined as the main building, since they are adjoined, and look as if they are one building.)
Ground was broken on October 12, 2003 for the Light House, the free standing building behind the main campus. The Light House was completed in the fall of 2004. It has since been the gathering place for youth on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, as well as the place of Saxe Gotha's contemporary worship service, the A.W.E., or Alternative Worship Experience, which began in September of 2008. Our children's ministry uses the space for musical performances, Vacation Bible School and summer camp. Other members of the Lexington Community often hold meetings in the Light House and its auditorium is often a place for spiritual growth speaking events and seminars. And where there is fellowship, there is usually food, so in 2009, the Light House Cafe opened as part of Saxe Gotha's Next Generation Ministry, to support youth and other events taking place there.
Over the years Saxe Gotha Presbyterian has been blessed with wonderful leadership and the strength of the current pastoral staff is no exception. Dr. James D. "Jim" Glatz arrived in 2007 and serves as the Senior Pastor; while the Rev. Helen Harrison "HH" Coker serves as our Associate Pastor for Spiritual Formation. Dr. William "Bill" Johnston is now retired as the former Parish Associate for Seniors Ministry, yet he continues to serve as a volunteer coordinator for Seniors. Saxe Gotha's vision statement, "To Give God Joy through Worship, Growth, and Service," is emphasized in all of its ministries.
On Sunday, September 22, 2013, our congregation elected to be dismissed from the Trinity Presbytery with its property from the PC(USA) to the ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. On October 8, 2013, the Trinity Presbytery voted to release our church and its pastors; and on January 1, 2014, Saxe Gotha officially joined the ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. The action taken by our Session has provided a way for us to connect with like-minded Presbyterians who are committed to living in obedience to Scripture and making disciples of all nations.
Please pray for Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church. Pray that our members will listen daily for God's Word in their lives, come and worship together on Sunday mornings, grow in Christ through the study of His word, and serve beside each other to His glory and honor.
OUR AFFILiATION & Beliefs
Our core commitments based on those of ECO are:
- a covenant body that connects leaders in accountable relationships and encourages collaboration
- an order that revolves around a shared theological core
- to be evangelical in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and planting new missional communities
- to stand within our Reformed Presbyterian heritage and celebrate the life of the mind
What We Believe:
- We worship and serve the one eternal, triune God who rules over all and who has revealed himself in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We submit to the teaching of the Bible which is the written Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Scriptures testify to God's magnificent plan of salvation which culminates in Jesus Christ who was both fully human and fully God.
- We rely on God’s grace that is most clearly revealed in Jesus Christ who made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world on the cross. The Good News is that Jesus Christ is risen and that we are forgiven and reconciled to God. We are saved by God’s grace alone.
- We recognize that the Christian life is a journey. Though we belong to Christ, we continue to struggle with sin and do not live a life worthy of His name. Yet we work to be faithful as we place every area of our lives under his authority and grow into the fullness of Jesus Christ.
- We hold to the biblical structure of marriage and family with the sole expression of sexual intimacy being reserved for a lifelong marriage between one man and one woman as biologically designed by birth.
- We celebrate the presence of our risen Lord in our daily lives by seeking to give God joy in all that we say and do and anticipating the day when Christ will return and establish His eternal kingdom.
What We Resolve to Be and Do:
OUR MISSION To Give God Joy through Worship, Growth and Service.
OUR VISION We are changed by the power of Jesus Christ – we are new creations in Him.
Celebrating this new reality:
- We engage in vibrant worship.
- We study His Word and pray.
- We seek His guidance and humbly obey.
- We are continually growing in our relationship with Him.
- We constantly seek to give God joy in all that we say and do.
- We turn from the values of the world and boldly live out the teachings of Scripture.
- We express Christ’s love by promoting healthy relationships with one another.
- We are committed to becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
- We actively, purposefully, and passionately take the message of hope to others.
- We seek the lost, strengthen the weak, and nurture the broken.
- We work to change lives through the power of the gospel in word and deed.
- Christ-centeredness – Glorifying our Lord in all that we say and do (Colossians 3:17).
- Biblical Fidelity – Faithfully living our lives under the authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Joyfulness – Enthusiastically celebrating our new life in Christ through our life, worship and mission (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
- Prayerfulness – Relying on God for guidance and power (1 Chronicles 16:11).
- Relevance – Presenting the unchanging gospel to an ever-changing world (I Corinthians 9:19-23).
- Acceptance – Unconditionally loving the sinner while not condoning sin (Romans 12:9).
- Outreach Focus – Seeking out the lost, the lonely and those in need. As the Father sent the Son, so the Son sends us out to serve and make disciples (John 20:21).