Advent wreath

Dear Visitor,

When the Lord Jesus calls someone, He says, “Follow me.” Well, that’s a change, because we tend to think we’re the center of the universe. But Jesus doesn’t ask what you want from Him. He doesn’t ask who you think or feel you are. He doesn’t ask about your pronouns. In fact, He doesn’t focus on your skin color, your preferred language, your gender or attraction, your history of hurts, or where you have been, what you’ve done, how you’ve failed or succeeded. He knows everything, looks you in the eye, and says, “Follow me!” And when you follow, you get up and go with Jesus. But wait a minute.

Who is Jesus? He is God’s Son in human flesh. That’s hard to wrap your head around, because a lot of people talk about Jesus in the past tense. And that’s a whole lot easier, because a past tense Jesus becomes whatever people want Him to be and a past tense Jesus isn’t someone you can really follow. But Jesus is (present tense) God’s Son in human flesh, and that’s Who people follow. So, among His followers, the days leading up to the celebration of His birth, for centuries and centuries, have been called Advent (which means “coming”). Advent is about waiting and hoping… just like parents waiting and hoping for a baby to be born. It’s a time to discover again Who Jesus is, to pin your hopes on Him.

So, Jesus is calling you, saying, “Follow me.” It’s scary thing to follow Jesus, because He will re-form all your other loyalties, yes, all those ideas and things you leaned on or you were sure defined you. In short, following Jesus means it’s not about you. But why would you do that? Only Jesus can save you from yourself, from death, and from evil. Only Jesus can remake you to be the person you were created to be.

Just show up and remember it’s not about you. We really won’t entertain you or push you towards a group, a program, or a packaged plan. We will be real about futility, failure, and forgiveness. We will show you Jesus, the down-to-earth God in human flesh, and invite you to follow Him with us… forever.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pastor Sam Zumwalt+

Come Worship with Us

Saturday 6:00 PM

Sunday 8:30 AM

Sunday 11:00 AM

Monday 6:00 PM

Wednesday 12 Noon

THE GREEK WORD FOR CHURCH, “EKKLESIA,” means the ones “called out” of their homes to assemble with the Lord for the apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of the bread, and the prayers (Acts 2:42). We urge you to join us in person for worship!

If you can’t worship with us in person, be sure to worship with us on YouTube Live this Saturday @ 6pm; Sunday @ 8:30 and 11am; Monday @6pm; Wednesday @Noon. To access our YouTube channel, please CLICK HERE

We welcome you in Jesus’ name to celebrate with us the First Sunday in Advent, December 3, 2023. Father Samuel David Zumwalt preaches, “Holy Keys: Molded” (Isaiah 64:1-9). The color of the day is blue, which signifies the hope of eternal life with the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Vicar Robert Shivers preaches on Wednesday at noon and 7 p.m.

From the console of our 47 rank Austin pipe organ with trompette-en-chamade, Bill Glisson leads the singing of joyous hymns: “O How Shall I Receive Thee” (Entrance); “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” (Hymn of the Day); “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” (Saturday Recessional); “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending” (Sunday Recessional). Our Sunday distribution hymns are: “Once He Came in Blessing”; “Come, Thou Precious Ransom, Come”; “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns.”

Special music for the weekend: Bill’s traditional prelude is “The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns” (Rowland-Raybold); Bill’s Saturday offering, “Preparation for the King” (Corelli); Bill’s postlude is “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending’” (Culli). The Adult Choir sings “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (Lee) at the 8:30 a.m. offering; Annie Jewell, soprano, sings “Never Weather-Beaten Sail” (Campion) at the 11 a.m. offering.

Did you know that you can give online to St. Matthew’s by Clicking Here? 

Sheila Whitmeyer oversees the nursery on Sunday mornings for up to five children per service. For more information, please email:

For online worshipers, be sure to download the bulletin:

Live broadcast of each worship service begins several minutes before the posted worship time.

St Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church
612 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

(910) 791-4582

Worship Services

Saturday 6:00 PM

Sunday  8:30 & 11:00

Monday 6:00 PM

We Are a Discipleship Center

We encourage each other to:

PRAY daily

“To be a Christian without Prayer is no more possible than to be Alive without breathing.”   - Martin Luther

View Daily Prayers

WORSHIP weekly

"To gather with God's people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer."   - Martin Luther

Worship Services & Sermon Transcripts

READ the Bible

“The Bible is Alive, It speaks to me; It has feet, It runs after me; It has hands, It lays hold of me”  - Martin Luther

Today's Bible Verses

SERVE at and beyond St. Matthew’s

“God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” - Martin Luther

Service Opportunities

Be in Relationship to encourage spiritual growth in others

"If he have faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to the people at the risk of life itself." -  Martin Luther

Growth Opportunities

GIVE of my time, talents and resources

“I have held many things in my hand, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess.”– Martin Luther

Giving Opportunities
St Matthew's Pastor Sam Zumwalt

Pastor Sam's Blog

Read Pastor Sam's blog for current news and inspiring articles

MIDWEEK ADVENT WORSHIP ON 12/6, 12/13, & 12/20

November 28, 2023

Prepare your hearts and minds for the celebration of the birth of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, by adding midweek Advent worship to your week. A spoken Holy Eucharist…

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November 28, 2023

The Girls Choir of Wilmington under the direction of Annie Jewell will be in concert at St. Matthew’s on Friday, December 1, at 7 p.m. in the nave. The public…

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2023 Annual Report of the Senior Pastor

November 27, 2023

My Dear Sisters and Brothers, In Matthew’s gospel, our Lord Jesus says: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority…

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November 21, 2023

Adam Brakel Organ Concert on December 17 at 4 p.m. ( Members and regular visitors may order free tickets. Tickets for the general public are on sale now at $10…

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