IAGenWeb Bremer County

St. John's Buck Creek Lutheran Church, Dayton Township


From Pictorial Atlas, Bremer County, Iowa 1983.
Transcribed by Karlyn Armstrong.

In the 1850's, the pioneering founders of St. John Lutheran Church immigrated from the area of Mecklenburg, Germany, and established a settlement along the Buck Creek. The Rev. Paul Bredow, of Maxfield Church, was the first Lutheran pastor to preach to these people. During the year 1874, the Articles of Incorporation were adopted; plans for the building of a church and the bringing in of a suitable assistant. The assistant, Pastor Wm. Adix answered the call. Plans were made to erect a parsonage and church. The church was completed by late summer. Dedication services were held on the 21st Sunday after Trinity of 1875. By Novemeber 18875 the parsonage had been built and completed. Part of the new parsonage was made to serve as a school house. This was the beginning of the Christian Parochial School at Buck Creek.

In the course of the years, St. John enjoyed such a sound, steady growth, that by 1891 it became necessary to enlarge the church. The enlarged church was re-dedicated on the 24th Sunday after Trinity, November 8. Prior to this time, a school building had also been built to the north of the church to better facilitate the educational program of the church. The post office was also incorporated in the school for a number of years, with Rev. Adix serving as postmaster.

It was during Rev. Schedtler's pastorate that the congregation felt the need to erect a shelter for its horses, that so faithfully brought them to worship Sunday after Sunday. So in 1899, a large stable was built, into which each could drive his team in inclement as well as good weather. The stable remained until 1945, when, through disuse, its shelter was no longer needed and it was removed.

In the year 1900 the Buck Creek congregation observed its 25th Anniversary. The congregation purchased and had installed a pipe organ that still serves the church today although it has been rebuilt and improved three times since then.

In 1913, it was decided that a parochial teacher should be called so that all subjects of the public school could be taught.

The next pastor, the son of the first resident pastor, Rev. H. Adix resolved the problem about a full time parochial teacher, a decision that had been made a year earlier, but not carried to completion. It was also deemed necessary to enlarge the school facilities; therefore, a new brick school house was erected.

The question of changing from the German language to English was not an easy one to resolve. It was not until 1950 that German services were dropped entirely.

In 1918 the present parsonage was built. For the occasion of the church's Golden Anniversary, a new fence, made of ornamental wrought iron with brick end and gate posts, was erected along the front of the cemetery. The 50th Anniversary was held on June 21, 1925.

The Luther League of today was organized in 1927 during the pastorate of Rev. Herman Kuhlmann.

On February 1, 1940, the school house was gutted by fire, but since the walls remained intact, it was rebuilt the same year.

A men's chorus was organized by Rev. Kuhlmann in the spring of his postorate. He also saw a need for women working in God's Kingdom, so in 1940 he sought to organize a Women's Missionary-Ladies Aid Society, which is today the ALCW.

As the time neared for the observance of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the congregation, at Rev. Lechner's suggestion, plans were started for a thorough renovation of the church. It was also decided to add to the east and west ends of the church with a deepening of the basement room.

Much landscaping was done which changed the appearance of the church property completely while under the direction of Rev. Leo Widdel.

With the additions to the church, a new sacristy was built and the chancel enlarged on the east end and a nursery added to the west end. A full basement now contained a modern kitchen, large social room and a new oil-burning furnace.

In the fall of 1949, the Sunday School and the Brotherhood Society were organized.

In 1951, the parochial school was closed and Lenten Services were changed from Friday evening to Wednesday evening.

The initiation of the Acolyte Program was in 1973 under the direction of Rev. Allan J. Stoa. Also, he helped to establish the Junior and Senior Choirs, and started a mini-sermon for small children during the worship service.

The 100th Anniversary celebration was held on July 6, 1975.

The present pastor, Rev. James Fladland has served the congregation since June 1979.


This page was last modified on March 14, 2007