Welcome to the congregation of the Wittenberg Town Church of St. Mary´s!
The Town Church congregation gathers at a significant place in church history. The Town and Parish Church of St. Mary´s where the reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) preached is well-known throughout the world. It is here where Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558) became the first „lutheran“ pastor. Additionally, the first protestant (evangelische) church services in German, congregational singing and communion with both bread and wine first took place here. The Town Church is therefore known as the „mother church of the Reformation.“
Gunther Emmerlich, patron of the fundraising campaign
Even today the Town Church is a lively place of preaching and singing, a place of religious and cultural identification, and a treasure of history and art. Countless visitors and guests from all over the world come to this place rich in tradition. They attend events and concerts and worship with the Town Church community. On October 31, Reformation Day, both the Town Church and the Castle Church are the focal point of the German and international protestant tradition.
In front of the Old Town Hall and the skyscrapers of Wittenberg church parishes celebrate a religious service in the open air, which was transferred from the Second German Television (ZDF). Foto: EKD/Schoelzel
Many visitors not only ask about the past. They ask about what the Reformation means for the 21st century and how the Wittenberg church community fits into this heritage.
The Town Church congregation is an amalgamation of protestant church communities in Wittenberg and its surroundings. With more than 3000 parishioners it is one of the biggest protestant church congregations in central Germany. Many volunteers shape congregation life. Three pastors, two religious education instructors and one choir director attend to eight different places of worship. Three kindergardens and the old and new cemeteries also belong to the congregation.
As the „mother church of the Reformation“ the protestant Town Church congregation is committed to eccumenical exchange with many guests from around the world and works together with other churches and congregations in Wittenberg. The Lord of the church is not a single church or confession, but Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus). The biblical verse above the Reformation altar in the Town Church quotes:
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.