Saint Philip Lutheran Church
In 2015, the North Dakota District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod recognized that the oil boom was changing the face of western North Dakota. Following the call of Christ to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, the ND District resolved to start a number of new congregations throughout the state, including Watford City.
Congregations start new congregations. The new congregation in Watford City would not be left to stand alone. Rather, a mother congregation, served by a regular pastor, plants a daughter congregation and continually supports her as she grows by the Lord’s grace and mercy. Redeemer Lutheran in Grassy Butte, a well-established congregation with a long history, agreed to follow the Lord’s calling and be the mother congregation.
The name of this new congregation in Watford City is Saint Philip Lutheran. This honors St. Philip the Deacon in Acts 8:26-40, where he proclaims the Gospel to the Ethiopian. Acts 8:35 in particular says “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told the Ethiopian the good news about Jesus.” Philip then baptized him before being sent on his way by the Holy Spirit.
St. Philip shows the way for this new church. Saint Philip Lutheran is dedicated to teaching and proclaiming the Scriptures, just like Philip did with the passage from Isaiah. SPLC seeks to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, just like Philip did with the foreigner from Ethiopia. Finally, SPLC centers its life around the Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, just like Philip baptized the Ethiopian.