Who Are We?
In January 2002, John, a retired pastor, and his wife Joyce came to Strasbourg at the invitation of the International Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to research the possibility of starting an English language church. Research indicated that between 5000-7000 English speakers live in the Strasbourg area, and that an evangelical English language church could be sustained.
So on December 15, 2002 ICS held it’s first worship and fellowship service. Since this time our church has continued to grow. We are a congregation of people from many nations and cultures, worshiping one God, acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and believing that the Holy Spirit has called us and empowered us for mission and ministry in Jesus’ name.
As the church continued to grow, so did our vision. The International Church of Strasbourg has intentionally chosen to become an interdenominational church, open and welcoming to all Christians. There is thus no longer any affiliation with the Southern Baptist Church or with any other denomination. Support comes solely from our membership. In January2003, ICS was officially recognized as a formally organized church in France and as a not-for-profit religious organization.
Following the departure of John and Joyce Setchfield in December, 2003, ICS began a search for a new pastor. We were blessed by the interim leadership of Rev. Ross Robson for three months, and then enjoyed seven months of guest speakers who brought a rich variety of worship styles and messages.
In 2004, Rev. Carol Simpson (click here to read about her call to ministry) moved to Strasbourg with her husband, and began providing worship leadership and pastoral care to the congregation. At its annual general assembly on January 23, 2005, the members of ICS voted to call Rev. Simpson to be their pastor. Ironically, Rev. Simpson is also a Baptist ordained by the American Baptist Churches-USA, a denomination known for its broad ecumenical involvement and its firm commitment to social justice issues. In addition to having served four churches in New York state, Carol has also served for three years as Associate Pastor of The American Church in Paris, so she understands well the meaning of international, interdenominational, and inclusive which define the core principles of ICS.In October, 2011, Pastor Carol and her husband moved from Strasbourg to Boulder, Colorado.
Beginning in September, 2011, ICS was led by Pastor Andrew Wilson. Andrew studied at Luther Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in church history from Princeton Theological Seminary. In addition to his ICS ministry activities, he was involved in ongoing scholarship at ICS. During our worship on Sunday June 2, 2013, we bid farewell with a hearty “Thank You” to Andrew as he was called to use his pastoral gifts in other ways.
Our membership hails from four different continents, many different countries, and a wide variety of faith traditions. Our worship has a traditional feel, but seeks to incorporate some more contemporary elements. We generally celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month and are always looking for people with musical gifts to share.
If you are living in Strasbourg or just passing through, if you are looking for a place to worship in English, a place to make friends and enjoy fellowship, please join us for worship on Sunday mornings. If you come as a stranger, we hope you will leave as a friend.