STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe the teachings of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and with the help of God, we will strive daily to live the life of purity, unselfishness and service which He exemplified to the world.
The Peoples Church is a multi-denominational congregation with recognition as a church in the following four denominations simultaneously: The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The United Methodist Church, The United Church of Christ, and the American Baptist Church. Clergy and staff are selected and called with this ecumenical arrangement in mind by insisting on theological and denominational diversity amongst the women and men working at The Peoples Church. Each member of the congregation is considered a full member of each of the four denominations.
It is a fully multi-denominational, multi-generational congregation located just off the campus of Michigan State University, in close proximately to the Michigan State Capitol, and in the heart of the growing Lansing region. The Peoples Church is a welcoming, inclusive, service-oriented church focused on living out the good news of Jesus Christ through an ecumenical expression of hope.
Prior to 1907, there were no Protestant churches in East Lansing. Four Michigan State University professors (then known as Michigan Agricultural College), including the school’s president, decided to remedy the situation by establishing a Protestant congregation. The four professors “favored the view any church developed in the community should be interdenominational in character, embrace all Protestant faiths and be controlled by the membership." Such independence was in the spirit of congregationalism and the uniting of the denominations was ecumenical. This aim led to designation of the church concept as ‘the great experiment.’” This experimental congregation would strive to be ecumenical in all areas – worship, mission, polity, and education. Within the first ten years, the congregation grew substantially to include more than two dozen recognized denominations.
Because The Peoples Church is simultaneously a member church of four denominations, the polity does not draw from one denominational model. On February 9, 1919, representatives from each of the four denominations came together to determine how best to meet the spiritual needs of the students and surrounding community of the Michigan Agricultural College through the growing congregation.