Church History

historical st johnHistory of Our Church

In the mid-19th century, a small group of German immigrants who lived in the Elgin area came alongside the Fox River to worship together. 


Two Lutheran Pastors from Chicago, Pastors Wunder and Mueller came to lead services on July 4, 1859. They further went on to write a Lutheran constitution and organize a congregation. 


On February 23, 1860 the congregation purchased a small white frame church for $550.00 on the corner of Spring and Division Streets. The Church was named St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. 


The first pastor, Von Snell, was a Rationalist. Rationalism was a belief system that rejected the divine origin of Scripture and treated God more philosophically than theologically. It said that Scripture and man's reason should carry equal weight. His tenure did not last long.


The next Pastors were also non-Lutheran, Pastor Reinecke, Pastor Dulon and Rev Carl Israel were all of the Evangelical Synod, which later became part of the United Church of Christ. Each had a different view of what St. John's doctrine should be. In 1867 the name was changed to St. John's United Evangelical Church. After several other Pastors' disagreements within the congregation Pastor Richman came in and ushered in a Lutheran constitution in 1875, which brought in Pastor H. F. Fruechtenicht who remained with St. John's for 42 years.   




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