Immanuel Leidy's Church is a community of Christians committed to God, his Word, and his people.
Immanuel Leidy’s Church is an intergenerational body of believers seeking to follow the Lord Jesus faithfully. He is the way, the truth, and the life; there is no way to know God truly apart from Him. We want to know Him more fully day-by-day; and we want others to know Him. Thus, we are committed to sharing the message of Jesus Christ in all our spheres of influence, whether that be locally, or in our wider culture, or in international settings. It is our desire for the life-changing message of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension to transform radically individuals, communities, cultures, and nations around the world. Though we are a non-denominational congregation, we seek accountability and strength by being interdependently related to other biblically-grounded congregations in our area.
Statement of Faith
These are the truths to which we at Immanuel Leidy’s Church hold:
Doctrine of God
That there is one God, eternally existing in one essence, who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three persons are equally divine, all are equally eternal, yet each is distinct in identity and role within the Godhead.
Doctrine of Creation
The one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – created from nothing all that exists in six days and continues to exercise sovereignty and dominion over all creation.
Doctrine of Mankind
Mankind was created in the image of God as two distinct biological sexes. The male, Adam, was created by God from the dust of the ground, and the female, Eve, was created by God from Adam’s side. The entire human race is descended from these two persons. Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, and all his and Eve’s descendants thereby incurred not only physical death, but spiritual death, alienation from God, putting mankind at enmity with God. All human beings are conceived with a sinful nature and are subject to God’s righteous judgment.
Doctrine of Christ
God became human in the person of Jesus Christ. Mary, a virgin, gave birth to Jesus having conceived Him through the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was truly human and truly divine; that is, He was subject to all human temptations and fleshly frailties, but never sinned. In a manner incomprehensible to us, in the midst of His humanity He remained God but laid aside His divine prerogatives.
Doctrine of Redemption
Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of His people, bearing the just wrath of God, by the shedding of His blood on the cross. On the third day He was bodily resurrected from the tomb never to die again. All who believe in Him are justified and reconciled to God on the basis of His shed blood. During a period of 40 days He appeared to His disciples and others to bear witness to His resurrection. At the end of the 40 days He ascended bodily into heaven and was enthroned at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes as High Priest and Advocate for His people. He is the only means by which anyone is reconciled to God. There is no other way – neither through good works nor through creeds – by which anyone can be redeemed from sin apart from the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the resurrection power He imparts to all who receive Him in faith.
Doctrine of Salvation and Sanctification
Salvation is the regenerating, sovereign work of the Holy Spirit by which individuals are made willing to respond to God’s offer, repent of their sin, and receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ in a personal way, whereby they are assured of their eternal destiny. Faith is not only a personal experience of salvation in Christ Jesus, but also a transformed life that reflects the continued working of the Holy Spirit to conform each individual believer to the image of Christ. This is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit whereby believers fight against sin and the devil with a free and good conscience throughout this life, putting to death the deeds of the flesh. As they do so, the fruit of the Spirit are manifest more and more in their lives. All this is done as an expression of gratitude for the redemption freely given them in Christ Jesus.
Doctrine of Scripture
The Bible, contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is inspired, infallible, and of divine authority on all matters that it affirms. It does not err, but is totally trustworthy and to be believed, embraced, and obeyed. Through Scripture we discover who God is, who we are, and the way of salvation which is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
The two sacraments given to the Church by her Lord, Jesus Christ, are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are visible signs and seals pointing to the gospel promise of redemption and new life in Christ.
Baptism may be administered to persons of moral age who make a credible confession of repentance and belief. It may also be administered to children of believing parents, even as circumcision was given to Abraham, the father of faith, to administer to his children. Those baptized as infants need not be re-baptized as adults.
The Lord’s Supper is to be administered in both elements as each points to and confirms the reality of redemption through Christ’s broken body and poured out blood. The bread is not changed into the actual body of Christ, nor is the juice or wine changed into the actual blood of Christ. By these visible signs the Holy Spirit assures believers that all Christ’s sufferings and His death are certainly for their benefit.
Marriage is the permanent, covenantal relationship instituted by God to be between one man and one woman whereby they become husband and wife. Because marriage is instituted by God, it is ordered and regulated by His Word. It is the one relationship where male and female are meant to be joined in spirit, soul, and body. The physical union of male and female is restricted exclusively to marriage. Male and female refer to one’s sex, which is determined by the XX or XY chromosomes present at birth.
Doctrine of the Church
There is only one Body of Christ, the Church. This one Body stretches chronologically from Adam and Eve to the moment when the final coming of Christ occurs. This one Body includes redeemed persons elected from every tribe, tongue, people group, and nation. This one Body is now, always has been, and through all succeeding ages shall be gathered, protected, and preserved in the unity of true faith by the sovereign work of God through His Word and Spirit.
The Church is blessed by the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit and to be empowered by gifts of the Spirit. Without the presence and life-giving work of the Holy Spirit there can be no Church.
This work of the Spirit finds expression in adoration and worship to the one, true, living God; prayers for one another and for the world; in relationships that encourage and nurture spiritual growth; and in the proclamation of the gospel to all nations, teaching them to observe all that Christ, her Head, has taught.
The one Church is made up of many members. Due to the common limitations of our humanity, no one part of the Church is able to comprehend accurately all of God’s truth, or to live out fully all that God’s truth entails. Hence, there are differences in the Church, both in theology and in polity. We allow for these differences so long as in essentials there is unity.
Two esteemed creeds which give expression to the essentials of the Christian faith are The Apostles’ Creed and The Nicene Creed. The particular heritage of this congregation is articulated in The Heidelberg Catechism. While recognizing the value of these statements, we confess that none of them is inspired, nor is this Statement of Faith itself inspired, for each has been composed by imperfect human beings. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only inspired human writings to which we give our entire trust and faith.
Doctrine of Last Things
The great longing of the Church, the Body of Christ, is for the return of her Head, the Lord Jesus. His return will be the great Day of Judgment. He will summon to God’s judgment seat all who are alive at the time of His return, and all who have died at any time since creation. Though no one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return, it will be personal, visible, and universal.
On that day each person will be called to render an account for the deeds done in the flesh. Those who have received and believed the promise of God, shall enter into the fulness of eternal life. Those who have rejected God’s purpose for themselves by persisting in unbelief, shall be cast into everlasting darkness apart from Christ.
On that day there shall come forth the new heavens and new earth wherein righteousness dwells. There will be no need of sun or moon or other luminaries, for the glory of God shall illumine it and the Lamb will be its lamp. Then all the elect of God, that is the Bride of Christ, shall sit down to feast at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There will be glory forever and ever, without end. Amen.
Our congregation was established on September 11, 1858 as a German Reformed congregation and shared a building with an Evangelical Lutheran congregation. Our German Reformed congregation was called Immanuel Reformed Church, while the Lutheran congregation was called Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
When Souderton Borough was founded in 1887, the Emmanuel Lutheran congregation moved to town and has been on West Broad Street even since. Our Immanuel Reformed Church stayed at the original site on Cherry Lane.
It eventually became necessary to differentiate between Immanuel Church and Emmanuel Church, both located in Souderton. Because our section of Cherry Lane was known as Leidytown, Immanuel Reformed Church became known as Leidy’s Church.
Through several denominational mergers, our name changed through the years from Immanuel German Reformed Church to Immanuel Reformed Church in the U.S. to Immanuel Evangelical & Reformed Church to Immanuel Leidy’s United Church of Christ.
Since 1992, however, our congregation has not been affiliated with any wider denominational body and is simply Immanuel Leidy’s Church. Though we are an independent congregation, we seek to be interdependently related to other biblically-grounded congregations in our area.
Over the years the original church building at 276 W. Cherry Lane endured several additions and alterations to accommodate a growing congregation. Unfortunately, the landlocked location at 276 eventually necessitated the need for a relocation. In 2016, Immanuel Leidy’s Church moved into a new facility across the street at 273 W. Cherry Lane.