Dear Visitor,

“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” These words were spoken on Ash Wednesday, the most solemn day for Christians, as each penitent came forward to be marked with a cross of ashes. The ashes reminded us that all of us must die on account of our sins. The cross reminded us of the Risen Jesus’ promise: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

The forty days of Lent, which echo Jesus’ forty day fast in the wilderness (see Matthew 4), began on Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2024) and will reach their spiritual destination at the Triduum (the three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday which celebrate the heart of the Christian faith). During the forty days of Lent, which do not include the six Sundays in Lent, Christians devote themselves to prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. Every Sunday is a reminder that Christ is risen from the dead.

Our Lenten daily devotional theme at St. Matthew’s is another set of Unsung Saints, this year a story about the forty-year journey of a child born in October 1945, who slowly becomes aware of and wrestles with the life to which the Lord God has called him in Holy Baptism. If you would like to receive daily devotional emails, please make your request to: The daily stories will be available both on our website and on St. Matthew’s Facebook page.

We invite you to join us each Wednesday in Lent at noon (spoken Eucharist) or 7pm (sung Evening Prayer) as we meditate weekly on Article 4 of Martin Luther’s Smalcald Articles: the means of grace by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ comforts troubled consciences.

We will vote to disaffiliate from the ELCA on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in the McSwain Activity Center. After a third successful disaffiliation vote, we will take a second vote to join the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC). We hope and pray that the North Carolina Synod Council of the ELCA will finally release us after three successful cycles of disaffiliation votes. In January 2023, we voted by 98% to leave the ELCA and by 97% to join the AALC. Each congregational vote has been well past the constitutionally-mandated 2/3 vote.

Thanks for dropping 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 Third Sunday in Lent on March 3, 2024. Fr. Samuel David Zumwalt preaches “Holy Keys: Only God!” (Exodus 20:1-17). The color of the day is purple, which signifies our remorse for our sin and our need for our Savior Jesus Christ. Deacon Robert Shivers will be commissioned as a Stephen Minister at 11 a.m.

From the console of our 47 rank Austin pipe organ with trompette-en-chamade, Bill Glisson, Director of Music, leads the singing of joyous hymns: “The Son of God Goes Forth to War” (Entrance); “O God of Earth and Altar” (Hymn of the Day); “God of Grace and God of Glory” (Recessional). Our Sunday distribution hymns are: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”; “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed”; “Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways.”

Special music for the weekend: Bill’s organ prelude is “O God of Earth and Altar” (Wold);  Bill’s Saturday and 8:30 offering is “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” (Culli); The Adult Choir sings “Bread of Heaven” (Fabing) at the 11 a.m. offering; Bill’s postlude is “The Son of God Goes Forth to War” (Porter).

The Special Congregation Meeting voter check-in begins as 12:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 1 p.m. in the McSwain Activity Center on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

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

Special Congregation Meeting — March 3, 2024 @ 1 p.m.

February 26, 2024

The official notices of the Special Congregation Meeting on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in the McSwain Activity Center were sent to the Bishop of the North Carolina Synod…

Read More


January 17, 2024

The Revd. Dr. Andrew Weisner Lenten Prayer Retreat February 17, 2024 @ 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.  The Revd. Dr. Andrew Weisner, retired campus pastor at Lenoir Rhyne University, will…

Read More


January 17, 2024

Abigail Crafton Organ Concert Sunday, February 25, @ 4 p.m. St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church Wilmington, North Carolina The local chapter of the American Guild of Organists is hosting this…

Read More


January 17, 2024

  When the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Closes There are two additional options besides taking the Isabel Holmes Bridge off 421: 1) Take Village Rd all the way through Leland…

Read More