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St. John's Lutheran Church celebrates 125 years

The original church was finished in 1892.1 / 3
This is how St. John's Lutheran Church looks today.2 / 3
The schoolhouse was built in 1895, when it was decided that the preacher would teach class.3 / 3

The St. John's Lutheran Church will be celebrating its 125th anniversary on Sunday, July 25. The worship will start at 9:30 a.m., and from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. there will be a catered dinner. The worship will feature guest preacher Rev. David Cloeter, who is the son of former pastor Rev. A. Cloeter who served as a pastor from June 1946 to September 1955.

St. John's Lutheran Church has a very rich history, with construction starting in 1885. Before then, services were held in homes by traveling pastors. Three acres were bought at $12 per acre, and it was decided that the building should be 24' by 40'. The building was completed in 1892.

During this time, many German families were moving into the area and wanted their German-speaking children to have a Christian education. It was decided in 1895 that one of the resident preacher's duties was to teach the children.

1895 was also the year that two more acres of land were purchased for a parsonage, horse barn, and fences. These were completed in 1896.

The altar of St. John's was built in 1913, along with the altar art that is still in the possession of the church today and now hangs in the Fellowship Hall.

It was decided to build a new church in April of 1915 and services were held in the schoolhouse while the church was being torn down and rebuilt. The cost of this new church was $7,427.56.

A Narthex addition on the west side was added in 1974. It provided greater access to the basement from the interior of the church. A dedication for the narthex was held in 1975.

Major renovations started in 1999 with the tearing down the 1974 Narthex to make room for a 5,000 square-foot addition. Construction began on June 1, 2000.

Labor was performed by local contractors, members and Laborers for Christ, an organization within the LCMS which uses the talents of persons retired from various construction trades. This new addition created increased handicap accessibility, a fellowship hall, a modern kitchen, bathrooms, office space and a library-conference room.

More renovations were done in 2004, with the original lathe and plaster being removed and replaced. New insulation was spray-foamed and new electrical and sound equipment were put in. This work was completed and rededicated in 2004.

Join in the celebration of St. John's Lutheran Church on Sunday, July 25, to honor such an interesting history.