St. Andrew was a mission church of the ELCA started in 1986 by local Lutherans who saw the need for a Lutheran presence in Charlestown. We started meeting in homes. Then having outgrown that, we worshipped all over Charlestown in our early years: in the Cross Mills library, St. James Catholic Chapel, and finally the old Charlestown ambulance building. As a community of faith without a home of our own for so long, we worked to create our own house of worship
In 1987, the Lutheran Church of America purchased land on the corner of East Beach Road and US 1in Charlestown. Members of the congregation cut, chopped and burned brush and trees to prepare the lot for building. We raised funds through a capital fund drive, hired an architect, and selected a builder. In April 1990, construction began and our church building was dedicated on September 30, 1990. Even though we are now located in a beautiful building, we know that the church really is the people and our focus is on the people who gather to find community here.
Around 1999 we did a visioning process that helped us refocus our energy and resources going forward. We determined the need to grow our ministry with children, youth and families. We reaffirmed our desire to offer diverse, progressive, creative worship experiences. And we committed ourselves to active outreach and service to the South County community. So we expanded our facilities by adding preschool space, a youth room, office and meeting space, and a music room. We also added staff to help us grow our ministries and strengthen our connection to the community.
In the summer of 2013, the congregation retired the mortgage on the first building. Funds raised in the final year of the three-year capital appeal were used for building improvements and renovations as well as for seed money for new ministries.
In 2016, in conjunction with the ELCA, we conducted an in-depth analysis of our strengths and weaknesses as a congregation and developed a new purpose statement:
St. Andrew is a Christian Community of Faith and Action
- Rooted in God’s Love
- Growing in Faith
- Serving with Open Arms
Guided by the Holy Spirit we will:
- Welcome others and embrace diversity
- Encourage one another in our faith journey
- Engage our community with hands-on service
- Pray and praise God
Because we are still close to our early “mission church” experience, we continue to want to welcome new people into the St. Andrew community. Our namesake disciple, Andrew, was the one who was always bringing friends to experience Jesus by saying “come and see.” We want to follow his lead. So “come and see” . . . see who we are, check out what’s happening, and find your place here!