Who Are Lutherans?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was organized in 1987 by the merging of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), the American Lutheran Church (ALC), and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC). American Lutheranism originates in the earliest days of immigration and colonization. Nationwide, over 5 million Lutherans worship in 10,936 congregations. In Florida and the Bahamas, nearly 92,000 worship in 218 congregations.

We believe in God the Father who created us, in Jesus Christ our Savior who died and was raised up from death, and in the Holy Spirit who breathes new life in us and leads us as a church.

We believe that we are saved by the grace of God alone; that there is nothing we can do to earn Gods love or forgiveness; it is freely given.

We believe that we receive that gift of grace through our faith in Christ, believing that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who died to redeem us.

We believe that the Bible is the written witness to the Word of God--Jesus, the Word made flesh. It is the only norm for belief and life.

We believe that two Sacraments, Holy Communion and Baptism, are to be celebrated as visible acts of God's love.

We believe that we act in love and responsibility not to get us into heaven but rather as a response to all the gifts God has given us. We are free to share that good news of God's love with others in our daily journey.

Historical Timeline

On September 13, 1998, Cross+Road Lutheran Church worshipped for the first time, meeting at Clay High School in Green Cove Springs. Over one hundred people attended our first worship service. In July 1999, we moved to Doctor’s Inlet Elementary School. Our greatest asset also became our greatest obstacle—growth. Average worship attendance grew to one hundred twenty-five or more each week, crowding us in the small cafeteria. Cross+Road needed to find a bigger space in which to worship. In October 2000, we moved to a brand new school—Thunderbolt Elementary. Attendance steadily climbed, worshipping two hundred or more on Sundays. With the increased growth in membership, Cross+Road was awarded a Fast Growth Grant from the national church, allowing us to hire a parish administrator in November 2002 and a director of music ministries in November 2003. Cross+Road called its first associate pastor in August 2008.

On September 16, 2001, Cross+Road Lutheran Church officially “organized” as a self-supporting congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ninety-one families joined as charter members. As a new church, our mission is to gather all people together in following Jesus, equip them to do the work he has entrusted to us, and send them out transformed for ministry, so that they might gather others in following Jesus…

Cross+Road kicked off its first capital campaign in June 2003 to fund our first building unit. On March 26, 2006, over three hundred people gathered for our first worship service in our new building. And we continue to grow. In the summer of 2006, we moved from one worship service to two; in August 2007, a temporary unit was brought onto the property to help provide space for our growing Sunday School—over 125 children registered! In the fall of 2007, we launched a new capital campaign to build education space for our growing church. This education building was completed in January 2011.

In addition to our many vibrant ministries, Cross+Road hosts outside community service groups. We continue to find ways to serve our neighbors and meet them where they live and work. Over six hundred members worship regularly and offer their gifts for continuing the work Jesus has entrusted to us.

In October 2013, after fifteen years of serving with us, our founding pastor Jim Graeser accepted a call to serve on the staff of the bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod.

In March 2015, Cross+Road called Reverend Ryan Ritzmann to lead our community in reaching out into the world to show the love of Jesus, and welcome all of God's people into the salvation that he brings. We are excited to meet the challenges that are before and rely on the helpful hand of the Holy Spirit to guide us and be the light of the world.

Our road goes out from the Cross so that we might bring others back with us to gather there and be transformed. Cross+Road. Journey with us.

Who We Are?

Cross+Road Lutheran Church is the result of mission-thinking people who saw a need for a new church and followed the Holy Spirit's leading.

In January 1998, Advent Lutheran Church in Orange Park voted as a congregation to begin a new church in the Fleming Island area of Clay County.

Rev. James Graeser, who was serving as associate pastor at Advent, was called by the Division for Outreach of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to be the mission developer for the new start which has become Cross+Road Lutheran Church.

Our Constitution

Revision proposed October 2015. CLICK HERE to download and view our constitution.

Cross+Road
Lutheran Church

Contemporary worship in a casual atmosphere that is family friendly