To write a complete history of our 100 years of witnessing and serving our Lord is impossible. But we have listed most of the important events by years and our motto is......."whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," I Cor. 10:31. We trust these efforts will be of interest to our children, relatives and friends. We are grateful to a few of our forefathers who in the fall of 1875 had the desires to organize St. John's congregation and by God's will we were blessed with this beautiful house of God. The original members were: Henry Steege, Henry Schnadt, Henry Keding, Fred Buhrow, Martin Hunemuller, Joseph Volker, Carl Bremer, John Drier, John Huenerberg, Christian Doss, Conrad Wilharm, Fred Volker, Theodore Hagen and William Schwake.
The parochial school was maintained from the time the first church was built in 1879 until in 1954 when, because of financial difficulties it became necessary to close the school. The first pastors also served as teachers of the school. The following teachers served St. John's: Helen Born, 19?? - 1934; Elmer Greene, 1934 - 1935; Oscar Moll, 1935 - 1936; Esther Wolter, 1936 - 1937; Oscar Moll, 1937 - 1938; Verena Nieman, 1938 - 1940; Faith Lange, 1940 - 1943; Floyd Schweiger, 1943 -1944; Carl Rogahn, 1944 - 1945; Betty Quandt, 1945 - 1947; Pastor Weiss, 1947 - 1948; Ellen Hoehne and Pastor Weiss, 1948 - 1950; Beverly Fink and Norma Kuepker, 1950 - 1951; Merle Rients, 1951 - 1953; Jack O'Benar, 1953 - 1954.
The sons of the congregation who have entered the ministry are Herman Kirchmann, Erwin Gaede and Arnold Aschbrenner.
Ministerial acts which have been performed during the 100 years are Baptisms, 872; Confirmations, 618; Marriages, 208; and Burials, 199.
The present number of baptized persons is 132; communicant members, 94; all male members over 19 years are voting members.
Fall of 1875 served by vacancy pastor, Rev. Wm. Kanning of Klinger.
Services are held in members' homes.
|1876||Served by student Wm. Grumm.
Rev. Theo. Haendschke installed as pastor in Aug.
|1879||Church built with school room.
Parsonage, barn, etc., built.
left in April having officiated at 473 baptisms,
297 confirmations, 112 marriages and 128 funerals.
Rev. Schaller accepts call in May.
|1915||New church built
and dedicated in June.
Former church moved into Sumner and used by St. Paul's members.
|1921||Rev. H. Schaller resigned
Rev. H.C. Reikowsky accepts call in Aug.
During this pastorate, storms made it necessary to repair and redecorate the new church.
|1925||Congregation celebrated Golden
Anniversary in Sept.
Parsonage burned and rebuilt by 1926.
Records probably destroyed in housefire.
|1928||Rev. Reikowsky accepted call
elsewhere in Oct.
Rev. C. Born accepts call in Oct.
Young people society organized.
|1934||Rev. C. Born resigned due
to ill health in Jan.
Rev. E.L. Runge accepts call in March.
School house moved south of parsonage.
Ladies Aid Society organized and later affiliated with Lutheran
Women's Missionary League.
|1935||Congregation celebrated 60th
20th year of new church.
|1937||Mixed choir organized.|
|1939||Pastor Runge accepted a call to Latimer, Iowa, in Dec.|
|1940||Rev. Edmund Weiss called in
Rev. W. G. Nagler served as vacancy pastor.
Rev. Weiss installed in April.
German services 1st Sunday of the month and holidays for the benefit of the older members.
|1941||Church debt paid, with a thank
you service held.
Purchased new English hymnals for members.
Adopted articles of incorporation.
|1942||Church interior redecorated.|
|1943||Several collections made for financial purposes.|
|1944||Church basement painted.
Garage built, old buildings torn down.
|1947||School house remodeled.|
|1948||Church steeple and windows
Joined Pension Plan.
|1949||Plans started for 75th Anniversary.|
|1950||Ask subsidy for school.
New carpeting purchased for Anniversary.
Hammond organ purchased.
75th Anniversary celebration, Aug. 13.
|1951||Rev. Weiss accepted call to
Rev. Ernst, Readlyn, vacancy pastor.
Rev. M. H. Sonntag accepts call and installed Oct. 7.
Purchased mimeograph machine.
|1952||Heating system changed from
coal to fuel oil.
Water system installed.
|1953||Borrowed money for financial deficit.|
|1954||Started corn drive for financial
Voted to quit having parochial school.
Wed. and Sat. school instruction for catechism.
|1955||Rev. Theo. Frese conducted services during Pastor Sonntag's illness.|
|1956||Started Vacation Bible School.
Rev. Sonntag accepted call to Conroy, Iowa.
Rev. Wangerin, Fayette, vacancy pastor.
|1957||Reshingled church and parsonage.
School house auctioned.
|1958||Church pews repaired and varnished.|
|1960||Parsonage - overall repair.
Memorial redecorating fund established.
Rev. Vaudt released.
Rev. Betke, Fayette, vacancy pastor.
|1961||Merger with St. Paul's again
Rev. E. Kramer called to serve in dual parish and accepted.
Parsonage to be used by a St. John's member and they do the janitor work.
St. John children attend Sat. school at St. Paul's.
|1962||Church interior redecorated.
Church pews secured to floor.
Held Redecorating Thanksgiving service.
Basement repaired and redecorated.
|1963||New amplifier purchased for church organ.|
|1964||Pastor Kramer accepts call
to Immanuel, Waterloo.
Pastor N. Betke, Fayette, vacancy pastor.
Congregation buys Workmen's Comp and Liab. Ins.
Rev. LeRoy Gutermuth called, accepted, installed.
|1965||Adding machine purchased for
church treasurer's use.
New folding chairs purchased.
Security light installed on church.
|1967||Basement walls finished with
nu wood paneling.
Pastor Gutermuth asks for release of his duties.
Pastor Stalder, served as vacancy pastor, from Westgate.
Call extended to Rev. R.F. Kamrath, accepted.
Rev. Kamrath installed Aug. 27.
|1968||Basement furnace purchased.
Self-study survey of both congregations.
|1969||New pump and water system fixed at parsonage.|
|1970||Elms cut down because of elm disease.|
|1971||Pastor Kamrath released to
Family Counseling position.
Rev. Dean Mues served as vacancy pastor.
|1972||Rev. Douglas Corniels, graduate,
called and accepted.
Celebrated 125th Anniversary of Synod.
Replacement trees planted.
|1973||Articles IV and XIII of the
All male members 19 years of age are voting members.
Voting members present at a meeting shall constitute a quorum.
Participated in Key 73.
|1974||Services held in basement
in Jan. and Feb. because of fuel shortage.
Centennial steering committee set up.
Iowa District East formed new circuit. Our Westgate Circuit now includes Bremer, Artesian, Waverly and Shell Rock.
|1975||The past year has been spent preparing for this centennial celebration. Various committees were set up to carry out our plans. The church was repaired and redecorated. Thanks be to God for all the willing services of the members of St. John's.|
We are truly grateful to our forefathers who built and maintained this church and to the following generations for the many financial sacrifices and material memorials given to aid and beautify the church.
Our thanks go out to all the faithful pastors, teachers, and members who have given us the true Word and Sacraments through these 100 years of service to Him. May God continue to bless us.