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Saint John's United Church of Christ of Johannisburg
175th Anniversary
1837 - 2012
Dodransbicentennial
The History and 175th Anniversary
courtesy of St. John's UCC
Copies of this book or part thereof are not permitted without the consent of a member of St. John's United Church of Christ
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1837 - Serving The Lord 175 Years - 2012
Saint John's United Church of Christ of Johannisburg anniversary photo 1
 
St. John's United Church of Christ
11360 Main Street
Johannisburg, Illinois 62214
 
- - -   Commemorating 175 Years   - - -

The Church will formally recognize its 175th year of service with 2 events planned for the month of September 2012.
 
The first event will be a picnic, open to the general public, to be held on Church grounds on September 9th. With this picnic, the Church will attempt to revive the atmosphere of picnics of the past that were held in the former Church Park. Activities planned for the picnic will include: games for children (and adults); a cake walk; music by the Venedy Band and local musicians; photo and video displays of confirmands and the church; and attendance prizes. And, of course, plenty of good food and refreshments.
 
The second will begin with Church service on September 23 followed by a dinner held at the Okawville Legion Home. Invitations will be sent to the 71 living confirmands and the 4 surviving pastors.
 
Additional commemorative plans include: redecorating the church interior; a cook book containing recipes submitted by the congregation; a book containing photos of confirmands; and this history book.
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Saint John's United Church of Christ of Johannisburg 2012   Saint John's United Church of Christ of Johannisburg 2012 interior
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- - -   Table of Contents   - - -
Part I Foreword
Commemorating 175 Years
Preface - History of the Church
History of the Church - As Recorded by Reverend Dr. Theo C. Schieler
History of the Church - As extracted from Notes/Minutes
History of the Church - As Recorded by The Congregation
History of the Church - A Tribute to Our Pastors
History of the Church - In Remembrance of Our Veterans
Church Ministry and Governance - 2012
Church History - Pictorial
Planting for the future - Sunday School
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Part II Church Records - Introduction
Church Records - Cross Reference
Church Records - Baptisms
Church Records - Burials
Church Records - Cemetery
Church Records - Confirmations
Church Records - Marriages (Bride)
Church Records - Marriages (Groom)
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- - -   Foreword   - - -
We share the history of this church, telling the remarkable works of God. God has done wondrously in bringing together and sustaining this community of faith through 175 years. We are a young faith community in the life of the Church. This history is not only about the names and families you will see here, but about the faithfulness of God who brought us to this place in this time. I pray our church experience will continue to be part of our spiritual heritage.
 
We look to the past to recognize those who have died in the faith. Our legacy is that of the Apostles, of the Roman Catholic Church, of Luther and the reformers, and of denominational families. We give thanks to God in Christ Jesus who calls us into being, sustains us in the present and guides us into the future. Our story is telling the story of Jesus Christ.
 
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually. Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered. 1Chronicles 16:8-12
Bill L. Groennert, Pastor
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- - -   Preface   - - -
History of the Church
It is the objective of this book to consolidate existing records of the Church. Most of those records are the result of work completed by others in the past. As necessary, the records have been transcribed to facilitate their incorporation in this book. In all cases, original wording and presentation has been preserved to the maximum extent possible. Where necessary to provide a complete and up to date history, contemporary information has been added.
 
Three works provide the best recording of our Church history. . .
  • The earliest was completed by the Reverend Dr. Theo C. Schieler, the Church's 29th pastor, serving from 1925 thru 1928. Some observations related to Rev. Schieler's work:
  • Official church records were often incomplete and for some periods are non-existent
  • The early church was the source for both Christian and Public education
  • The Ladies Aid Society made significant financial contributions to the upkeep of the church
  • The commitment of members to overcome adversity has always been strong
  • The second is an extract, covering 1940 through 1988, from what is assumed to be notes/minutes prepared by Church Secretaries. The author of this document is not known. A few observations:
  • The first women (3) were accepted as voting members of the congregation in 1948
  • Church service in the German language was held on the first and fifth Sunday beginning in 1949
  • An admission fee of $2.00 to join the congregation was discontinued in 1941
  • Members failing to support a church work project were assessed a $2.00 fine
  • The third is a living document that has evolved over the years through the work of numerous authors, members of the congregation. Attempting to list those authors here would surely fail to recognize all. We do thank them for their work and persistence. Again, some observations:
  • The first church building was built on the northwest comer of the church property (the park), about 2 blocks north of the current location
  • The early church was served by "free ministers" through 1891
  • In 1963 the church was recorded as a corporation under the name of St. John's Church of Johannisburg, Illinois
  • The plot of land that had been the church's park was cleared of trees in 1965
  • These works follow and are identified by the following by-lines to the page heading. . .
  • As Recorded by Reverend Dr. Theo C. Schieler;
  • As extracted from Notes/Minutes;
  • As Recorded by The Congregation;
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    - - -   History of the Church   - - -
    (As Recorded by Reverend Dr. Theo C. Schieler)

     
    FESTIVAL - BOOKLET
    for the ninetieth anniversary of St. Johannes Congregation
    at Johannesburg, Illinois.
    To write a history of the St. Johannes congregation for the celebration of the ninetieth anniversary of her existence, a history which I intend to be complete, is not an easy task. The oldest parochial register of the congregation does not exist any more; the second one has the following appendages: "List of children born and baptized, as listed in the previous record of the Church" - also a "List of persons deceased as recorded in the previous record" - but beginning with the year 1843 only; also a "list of marriages", also beginning with the year 1843. A record of confirmands begins with the year 1875. This second church register is in an imperfect condition. It seems that the first ministers of the congregation did not consider it worth their trouble to write a chronology of the congregation. The first regular history was written by Rev. Adolf Dietrich beginning in the year 1883. Judging from the first list of children who were baptized, we conclude that the congregation existed in 1837 already. This is written on yellowed paper found loose in the imperfectly kept second register. Thus we surmise that this congregation has surely existed for 90 years; if not a few years more.
     
    90 years! How much mercy, and rich blessings has the Lord in His boundless, merciful love, bestowed on His children through this congregation. For 90 years continuously has the blessed Word of God been proclaimed in church, and school, and house. For 90 years the Holy Sacraments have been given. During 90 years God's praises have been sung in holy hymns, and the prayers of devoted hearts have ascended to the throne of God. And the Lord who chose to establish here a congregation as a part of His Kingdom on earth, has graciously guarded her during variable fate, as the good shepherd who came from heaven to earth, to seek and to save those who were lost. He has here, through the services of this Church, found many a lost sheep and carried it back to the fold with joy.
     
    We, that is, all members of the St. Johannes Church, can truly say with the present Pastor: "Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, all my soul, and forget not all His benefits". - Do not forget, o St. Johannes congregation, what benefits the Lord has bestowed on you, that He established here one of His Churches, and has protected her through all the storms of time; do not forget the many mercies and rich blessings He has given you until now.
     
    The first settlers in this vicinity, which comprises the present Johannesburg, Venedy and Stone Church (Petersburg), were Low-Germans, who came from the Northern parts of Germany, from Hannover and the adjoining parts of Westphalia, who had come to America to make a better living. They had no wealth, since they emigrated to escape poverty. But they brought along a sound German disposition, German industry, and German tenacity, also experience in the art of agriculture, which they had learned and practiced overseas; but best of all, they had a religious mind. In Germany they had received a thorough religious instruction in school, and also several years of confirmation instruction by the Pastor. In their parental homes, they also had inhaled (so to say) the Christian Spirit. Therefore from the start, they had endeavored to secure a Christian church to hold worship services, and to receive the sacraments, and a pastor, and a school. They organized as a free, i.e. independent congregation. Since they had been Lutherans at home, so the confession of this new congregation was that of the Lutheran Church in Germany; and thus is the name up to date the "Independent Evangelical Lutheran St. Johannes Church". They chose the name of St. John "the disciple whom Jesus loved". The community which grew here bye and bye, was called the town of Johannesburg; and the district around it "Township Johannesburg", in Washington County, in the State of Illinois".
     
    The first church was a small primitive log house, and stood at the Northwest corner of the present park. It also served as school house, where the children were taught, by the medium of the German language, the elements of human knowledge, but primarily the Christian religion according to the Lutheran catechism and the Bible. Thus there were no illiterates in the congregation, none who could not read and write. It shows what good sense these pioneers had, that they were concerned about the education of their children, and about the building of a house of God in their midst. During many years, the present "Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Venedy" and the "Independent St. Peters Congregation" of Stone Church, were part of the St. Johannesburg congregation. Thus the Johannes Church is the mother church of these two congregations. In the fall of 1842, the Church in Venedy (which then was called Brockschmid's Hill) separated from the mother church. A quarrel about the hymn books is supposed to have been the reason for this separation. Most probably there were also other reasons. This new congregation joined the Missouri Lutheran Synod, and according to the spirit of this Synod, she has no religious fellowship with the mother church, although some of the ministers who were more tolerant, had, in the spirit of the gospel, friendlier relations with her.
     
    However the social relations of the members of both churches are very good. I just want to mention, that there are 13 evangelical families living at present in Venedy, three of these are not members of the Johannesburg Church.
     
    St. Peters Church separated from the mother church in 1857. Those farmers who lived toward the South, scattered on separate farms, wished to have a church and school closer by, and they were numerous enough to start and support a new church. On September 1, of that year, the new congregation was organized as an independent Church and school. They elected their own consistory members, i.e. Mr. Johann Heinrich Borchelt as president and Friedrich Wilhelm Wolff and Heinrich Schodde as members. They called Rev. Christoph Heinrich Erni of Zurich, Switzerland, who had been serving the whole congregation since August 20, 1856, to be their Pastor and teacher. They saw to it that worship services and school were regularly held beginning September 1, and they decided to build a church of cut stones during the following year. This they did, and on January 2, 1859 this new church was dedicated. The Church has no steeple at that time. That was built in the year 1873-74, at which time the church was renovated. The new church was called St. Peter's Church, and the town was named after it "Petersburg". However, since there was already a larger town in Illinois with that name, the community had to take a different name, and was called "Stone Church".
     
    These separations weakened the mother-congregation Johannesburg, which however developed so well during the following years that her continuation was not endangered. The number of her members grew slowly but steadily. At that time, even after 1875, the Johannesburg congregation was larger that it is now. There were eleven baptisms in 1859; in 1860 the number was increased to 14, and in 1861 to 18 baptisms; and in 1870 twenty children were baptized. For many years this number of baptisms remained the same. During the above mentioned years, the number of deaths varied between 8 and 10.
     
    Under these conditions, the congregation considered to build a new church. The new building was completed in 1851, and was dedicated on Palm Sunday, April 13, 1851. The bell tower, only a wooden frame in which the bell was hanging, stood next to the church. 30 years later this bell tower became dilapidated, so that the present steeple, with the rooms on both sides of it, in front of the church, was planned and built. This was done in 1883. Thus the length of the church was increased to its present length. In 1891 it was renovated, and the arched windows were inserted. The interior of the church was redecorated in 1925 through the generosity of the Ladies' Aid, who spent their entire fortune to give the interior of the church a worthy appearance. The present lights were also then installed. The congregation had now a worthy house of God, large enough for the services, and suitable to instill the spirit of devotion.
     
    In 1865 it was decided to build a new school house of bricks. The first one was a log house, now too small and dilapidated. In 1878, the park was laid out, and was very useful for the activities of the congregation. The parsonage was a small building with only two rooms. A kitchen and two rooms were added on the East side. The present parsonage was built in 1893, and the cost of it was $1227.80 without counting the work hours the church members contributed. On July 6, 1912, a heavy rain followed by a violent thunderstorm, broke off a branch from a large maple tree standing to the East of the schoolhouse, and destroyed the roof and the North gable of the building. This brick building did not seem safe any more, so it was decided to demolish it completely and build a new one, which cost $480. The foundation of this building, and the steps in front of the entrance were made by a Mr. C. Schoener of Belleville, free of charge. Mr. Hermann Krewinghaus of Venedy did the carpentry work. That is the present roomy, pleasant schoolhouse. It is six foot longer than the old one.
     
    In 1893, new communion ware, and a new carpet around the altar were bought by the ladies of the congregation, for $49.40.
     
    The Ministers of the Congregation.
    The first Pastor, who is mentioned in the old Church register was Wilhelm Frank. I found his name written in a corner of the baptismal register. It was he, it seems, who has copied the lists of baptisms and deaths and marriages out of the first church register which does not exist any longer. He probably served here in the years 1846-1848. Now I will try to state the succession of the ministers, according to the incidental remarks they made, and comparing their writing in the register. The so-called "free Pastors" who served till the call of the first synodical Pastor in 1891, have never kept any records (I am sorry to say) and have not even stated the beginning nor the end of their ministry. Following Rev. Frank was Rev. Wilhelm Flickinger 1848 - 1856; Pastor Christoph H. Erni 1856 - 1857, who then went to the new church in Petersburg (Stone Church); R. Knoll 1857 - 1863; Gustav Staiger 1863 - 1864; Gustav Seydel 1866 - 1869; P. Lorentzen 1869 - 1873; Adolf von Mengershausen 1874 - 1880 (he came to the congregation before ordination, as candidate of Theology); Carl Munter 1880, died after a short period of service, and lies buried in the church cemetery; the congregation placed a worthy monument on his grave. On this gravestone are engraved the names of the consistory members of that year. After a short interval followed: P.W. Schaefer, from December 1880 - 1881; Adolf Dietrich 1882 - 1884; Adalbert Hammerschmidt 1884 - 1887; W. Weber 1887 - 1888; A. Hauft 1887 - 1890. After this the first Pastor from the Evangelical Synod was elected, C. J. Knicker 1891 - 1895. The congregation now changed that paragraph of its constitution, according to which the minister should not belong to any Synod, and they determined to elect only pastors who belonged to the German Evangelical Synod of North America. They had had some very bad experiences with the free ministers, although some of them proved to be good faithful ministers. Rev. Knicker, who introduced the evangelical hymn book and the evangelical catechism with the consent of the congregation, was followed by Pastor E. Hugo 1895 - 1900; A. Sefzig 1900 - 1905; Fr. Hempelmann 1906; Chr. Bendigkeit 1907 - 1910; J. Krause 1910 - 1913; Th. Otto Uhdau 1913 - 1922 who started the Ladies' Aid Society; Theophil Wittlinger 1922 - 1923; Fred Bock 1924 - 1925; Dr. Theol. C. Schieler 1925 -
     
    So it is now 36 years that the congregation has been served by synodical pastors. Till now, in spite of repeated urging, she has always refused to join the Synod, but has always gladly and liberally supported her needs. She has become smaller during the last few years, since there have been some changes in the township of Johannisburg, through which the membership has been diminished. But she had the joy of accepting some young men as full members during the last year. And if all young men who have reached the proper age, would join the church as full members, the number would increase considerably. May God grant this, who has watched over the congregation graciously through many sad experiences.
     
    He has created this congregation, has protected her. May He govern her, may His spirit rule all, the pastor and the flock, leading her as the good shepherd.
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    - - -   History of the Church   - - -
    (As extracted from Notes/Minutes)

     
    Jan 6, 1940:
    The Ladies Aid is willing to wire parsonage, school, church and park for electrical service. Rev. Buck agrees to pay expenses of light bill above $15.00 per year. The Ladies Aid will pay $5.00 per year for use at the picnic. Granted. English service 2nd & 4th Sun of month. Sec. asked to record minutes in English & to buy a new record book. The old one was used 43 yrs. Granted.
     
    July 7, 1940:
    Church picnic to be held Sun. Aug 25. Music by Venedy Band. Rev. Buck asked to change fiscal from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 to make reporting to synod easier. Fiscal year now is from Apr. 1 to March 31. Defeated.
     
    Jan. 4, 1941:
    $2.00 admission fee to join congregation discontinued. Pasture fence needs repair so it will be moved to enlarge cemetery. Poultry house needs repair costing $83.82. Elders are short of funds. Members are urged to pay dues.
     
    July 6, 1941:
    Fire destroyed the kitchen in the park. Agreed to rebuild. Several members are donating trees for lumber.
     
    Oct. 5, 1941:
    Free membership for young men in the military service.
     
    Jan 3, 1942:
    Janitor salary $125.00 per year. Organist $4.00 per month. Picnic Aug 23,Venedy band.
     
    Oct. 4, 1942:
    Fred Pieper will paint all buildings in park for $9.00. Rev. Buck asks members to please bring fire wood his supply is low.
     
    Apr. 4, 1943:
    Constitution to be translated to English. Picnic June 20, 1943.
     
    July 4, 1943:
    New front church doors. To get men to help with work at church names are to be drawn. Anyone failing to help must pay $2.00.
     
    Apr. 3, 1944:
    Young Peoples League given permission to get service to be placed in church. Picnic Aug. 27, 1944.
     
    Apr. 8, 1945:
    Motion in regards to failing to help work at church pay $2 is withdrawn.
     
    Oct 7, 1945:
    Rev. Buck's salary raised $20.00 per month, from $70.00 to $90.00.
     
    Apr. 7, 1946:
    Perpetual care for cemetery, $25.00 single grave, $75.00 lot.
     
    Jan. 4, 1947:
    Ladies may use school house for quilting.
     
    Apr. 6, 1947:
    25 new hymnals purchased, for use at funerals or other gatherings. Ground between church and school to be covered with rock.
     
    Jan. 3, 1948:
    $1.00 for wood or fuel be discontinued.
     
    Mar. 7, 1948:
    Ladies Aid would like to install furnace if congregation would help with the work.
     
    May 2, 1948:
    Mrs. Elizabeth Koch, Mrs. Mathilde Steinkamp & Mrs. Minnie Marquard were accepted as voting members and signed the constitution (first women). Sec to inform Stone Church that we would not merge with their congregation.
     
    May 24, 1948:
    27 members (and a large delegation of ladies) met to discuss remodeling church interior. Contractor estimate $6500 for remove ceiling and replacing with higher one, $4000 otherwise. Services will be held in school house.
     
    Oct. 3, 1948:
    Out side of church to be painted for $350.00. Supper for visiting ministers and others at the dedication to be served by the ladies at Venedy town hall.
     
    Jan. 8, 1949:
    German service 1st & 5th Sun. Church council see to it that a hymnal board be erected in church that members would know what songs were sung. Janitor fees raised from $1.00 to $3.50 for extra services at funerals and weddings. Pastor's salary increased to $115.00 per month. Janitor $250.00 He will also keep park, pasture & school ground clean but not orchard.
     
    Apr. 3, 1949:
    Church trustees instructed to install a Sunday School attendance chart in church proper.
     
    Jan 5, 1951:
    Constitution to be amended concerning quorum at meetings. 12 members still required for annual meeting for others a majority of those present are considered a quorum.
     
    Jan 5, 1952:
    To install electric on altar.
     
    Apr 6, 1952:
    Envelope system adopted.
     
    Oct 5, 1952:
    All members of congregation serving in the military not required to pay church dues while in the service. (same as Oct 5, 1941)
     
    Nov 6, 1952:
    Each part of new constitution adopted separately then as a whole.
     
    Jan 3, 1953:
    Final reading and adoption of new constitution, with existing By-Laws where they do not conflict with the new constitution and that 200 copies be printed.
     
    July 19, 1953:
    Rev. Buck granted discharge as pastor, on Aug 16, 1953.
     
    Aug 23, 1953:
    To hire Rev. Kofer as substitute pastor and hire resident pastor as soon as possible.
     
    Nov 17, 1953:
    Contract offered to Rev. Hertel.
     
    Jan 2, 1954:
    Sign to be erected over church entrance to read: St. John's Evangelical & Reformed Church of Johannisburg.
     
    Oct 17, 1954:
    Permission given to Ladies Aid to have platform in school house removed.
     
    Jan 8, 1955:
    To amend the by-laws to the constitution in relation to electing council members to read: Six council members shall be elected by a majority vote cast at a congregational meeting. They shall be elected to serve for a term of three years, two of their number to be elected each year. The church council members shall then organize and elect its officers President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and two council members effective Jan 1955.
     
    In no case shall the council so organize as to permit any one individual succeed himself or serve more than one year in succession as treasurer of this congregation.
     
    Since there was no provision in the constitution for transfers the following was accepted: Members, who on account of change of residence or other proper reason, desire a change of membership shall obtain a certificate of transfer from the church council signed by the President, Secretary and Pastor; and as soon as possible unite with the other congregation.
     
    Election of 4 council members elected (?) At above meeting 2 council member were elected for 3 yrs. One for 2 yrs. One for 1 yrs.
     
    May 1, 1955:
    Any member shall have the right, when needed, for an immediate member of his or her family, to purchase a lot, 12 feet deep, at $1 a running foot, for a lot 12 feet deep, with a 2 foot space between all lots. Also, that all members not purchasing lots may be buried without cost as designated by council. Non members for $25 for child under 12 yrs $50 for adult.
     
    All monument bases must extend 6 inches beyond monument level with the ground. It shall be prohibited to erect curbing of any size, shape or form.
     
    All non-members shall pay $25 fees for use of church building for funeral services, plus minister, organist and janitor fees.
     
    Amendment to the by-laws: Eliminate the words, President, Vice President and Secretary from the paragraph, Nominations, under elections in the bylaws.
     
    Jan 11, 1956:
    Organizational meeting, First time Financial Secretary is used.
     
    July 15, 1956:
    Sunday to put plastic decorative paper on church windows.
     
    Jan 12, 1957:
    Any serviceman re-enlisting in the armed services is no longer exempted from paying church dues.
     
    Use of church for funerals be raised to $50.00 plus services of minister, organist & janitor.
     
    May 18, 1958:
    Acoustical tile to be applied to church ceiling.
     
    July 27, 1958:
    Rev. resigns pastorate effective Oct 1, 1958.
     
    Aug 17, 1958:
    Outside of church to be painted.
     
    Sept. 14, 1958:
    Rev. Eigenrauch hired for 6 months.
     
    Apr 26, 1959:
    Vote to accept 2 point charge between St. John's Johannisburg and St. Peter's Stone Church. Fences to be removed from church property.
     
    Aug 5, 1959:
    Rev. Hans Nottrott makes trial sermons at St. Peter's and John's. Votes were combined and counted. Rev. Nottrott hired.
     
    Jan 7, 1961:
    Congregation to purchase 100 new E & R hymnals. Womans Guild given permission to have partition in school house. Film projector & screen to be purchased.
     
    Jan 13, 1962:
    Plans made to celebrate 125th anniversary of St. John's. Motion to have pew communion.
     
    Jan 12, 1963:
    Congregation to purchase adding machine.
     
    Mar 3, 1963:
    Church to incorporate. Name chosen, St. John's Church of Johannisburg.
     
    Apr 22, 1963:
    Perpetuale care for cemetery established.
     
    Jan 10, 1965:
    Trees to be removed from park area ground to be used for cropland. Church doors repaired (inside?) & stairway closed.
     
    June 16, 1968:
    Gas furnace to be installed.
     
    Jan 12, 1969:
    Benches purchased from Hahlen Church. Sell present benches. Womans Guild may install cabinets in south room.
     
    Apr. 13, 1969:
    Steeple to be painted and repaired.
     
    Feb 8, 1970:
    Plans to purchase new carpet & decorate top part of windows with suitable colored material.
     
    Jan 10, 1971:
    Confirmands must attend instructions for two years.
     
    Mar 21, 1971:
    Church interior to be painted.
     
    Aug 29, 1971:
    Sunday & Womans guild to purchase a set of altar cloths and dossel curtain.
     
    Dec 12, 1971:
    Discussion for joining the Big Six Larger parish.
     
    Dec. 18, 1971:
    Vote for joining big six defeated.
     
    Jan 16, 1972:
    Big six reconsidered, motion carried to join program.
     
    Sept 17, 1972:
    Two year confirmation instruction agreed by both congregations.
     
    July 1, 1973:
    To purchase new organ.
     
    Sept 16, 1973:
    Six inch layer of insulation to be put into church ceiling.
     
    Jan 20, 1974:
    Storm door for south church door. Roadside sign.
     
    Jan 19, 1975:
    Leaving big six discussed. Electronic organ pipes.
     
    Jan 18, 1976:
    Parsonage offered for sale.
    Meetings to discuss big 6:  Dec 8, 1975
    Apr 4, 1976
    Apr 25, 1976
      Feb 15, 1976
    Apr 11, 1976

    Oct 31, 1976:
    Rev. Hans Nottrott hired as supply pastor.
     
    Nov. 21, 1976:
    Parsonage to be repaired and rented.
     
    Mar 20, 1977. . . . . . . . . Apr 8, 1977:
    Repair & restore church building-steeple-steeple ornament, also foundations of the house and schoolhouse.
     
    Sept 4, 1977:
    Storm windows for church.
     
    Oct 9, 1977:
    Altar fixtures refinished.
     
    Jan 5, 1978:
    Janitor fees for weddings & funerals raised to $15.
     
    Aug 20, 1978:
    Church lightning rods.
     
    Nov 11, 1979:
    Water company granted easement.
     
    Nov 11, 1980:
    Rev. James Mory hired as supply pastor.
     
    Mar. 8, 1981:
    Church records micro-filmed.
     
    Nov 29, 1981:
    Paul & Jeanette Segelhorst ask permission to plant shrubbery at the church in memory of Ewald Steinkamp. Granted.
     
    Jan 24, 1982:
    Fire extinguishers purchased.
     
    Aug 1, 1982:
    Possibility of sharing pastor with Stone Church considered.
     
    Jan 15, 1984:
    To change constitution and by-laws to read treasurer may succeed himself.
     
    May 20, 1984:
    Vinyl siding-insulation installed on church.
     
    Jan 19, 1986:
    Four member board approved. Committee for St. John's 150th anniversary appointed.
     
    Apr 27, 1986:
    All roofs except church to be painted. Parsonage kitchen ceiling lowered, walls paneled. Altar, lectern and pulpit covers. Memorial fund established. Council may spend $500.00 annually for extra ordinary expenses without consulting the congregation.
     
    Jan 18, 1987:
    Undesignated memorial fund to be put into general fund. Enroll in Okawville fire district. Permission given to display antique communion ware. Return to 6 member council.
     
    Mar 15, 1987:
    Anniversary plans. Church ceiling to be painted.
     
    Jan 17, 1988:
    Undesignated memorials to go in special savings account. Join St. Libory fire district, in addition to Okawville.
     
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    - - -   History of the Church   - - -
    (As Recorded by The Congregation)

     
    Early in the 1800s, Napoleon had most of Europe anxious and afraid. Because of war, poverty and fear of the future, many German people came to America in an effort to find freedom and a better life. Some of these Germans came from Hannover and Westphalia in the northern part of the province. Their faith was that of the Evangelical Church of Prussia, a union of the Reformed and Lutheran faiths.
     
    These German Lutherans settled in the vicinity of Johannisburg, then called Elkhorn Prairie. On one of their occasional trips to St. Louis to sell their produce and buy supplies, they met members of a group of Saxon Lutherans who had come to St. Louis in 1839. Through this group, they contacted Dr. F. C. Walther, who was instrumental in providing a pastor for them in the person of Rev. Ottoman Fuerbringer. This group organized the Independent Evangelical Lutheran St. Johannes Congregation in 1837 in the village of Johannisburg. (The first written history, by Rev. Adolf Dietrich, begins in 1883. However, judging by the first list of children who were baptized, it is concluded that the congregation existed as early as 1837.)
     
    The first church building was built on the northwest comer of the church property located in the current field southeast of the intersection of Skylark and Main. This building, built of logs, also served as a schoolhouse where the children were taught the German language and the Christian religion from the Lutheran catechism and the Bible.
     
    In 1842, dissension grew among the members of the congregation on supposed matters of Christian doctrine and practice. (A disagreement about the hymn books is given as the reason for the disagreement.) This dissension eventually led to a group of the congregation separating from St. John's to form a new church. This group, in turn, joined the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church and organized the St Salvator Lutheran congregation in the village of Venedy.
     
    The congregation of St. Johannes, eventually known as St. John's, continued to grow. A new church building was completed and dedicated on Palm Sunday, April 13, 1851. This building, which comprises the main chapel in the current structure, did not have a steeple for the bell. Instead, the bell hung in a wooden frame alongside the church until 1883 when the current steeple, including the two rooms and entry foyer, was added.
     
    In 1857 some of the members of St. John's living south of Johannisburg separated from the mother church and organized the St. Peter's Church and School. This was a friendly separation created because of the distances involved. This new community was originally called St. Petersburg but later changed its name to Stone Church.
     
    In 1865 the old log schoolhouse was found inadequate and a new brick building was built south of the original structure. In 1912 the brick schoolhouse was partially destroyed in a heavy rainstorm. It was decided a new, larger frame building was needed. The new schoolhouse was constructed just south of the chapel, where it remains to this day.
     
    In 1878 the portion of the church property north of the cemetery (where the original log schoolhouse and accompanying grounds existed) was laid out to form a park and trees were planted. The park included five structures (four pavilions and a bandstand) and served as the location for annual picnics and church functions. Over time the congregation decided to no longer hold the annual event, with the last picnic occurring in 1952. In 1962 St. John's accepted an offer and sold the bar and supper stand pavilions to the Addieville Community Park. In 1965 the plot of land that had been the park was cleared of trees and has been used since as farmland.
     
    In 1891 the main chapel was renovated and arched windows set in. In the same year the first pastor of the Evangelical Synod of North America was called. Up to this time the pastors were "free" ministers. The new Evangelical pastor was Rev. C. J. Kniker, who introduced the Evangelical Hymnal and Catechism. On October 3, 1937, St. John's Evangelical and Reformed Congregation joined the South Illinois Synod of Evangelical and Reformed Churches.
     
    In 1893 a new parsonage was built to replace the original small building of two rooms. A kitchen and two rooms were added at a later date. The new parsonage remained in use until 1959 when St. John's formed a "charge" with St. Peter's of Stone Church in which they agreed to share one pastor. The parsonage became a rental property until its razing in September 1995.
     
    In 1913 the Ladies Aid Society (now The Women's Guild) was organized while Rev. Theo. Uhdau was pastor. The Society financed the first renovation of the church interior in l925. In 1948 the church interior was again renovated. A utility room and new furnace were added. In 1984, St. John's improved and preserved the exterior of the church by adding vinyl siding, bringing the church exterior to its current appearance.
     
    In 1957, St. John's became part of the United Church of Christ when the Evangelical & Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church merged.
     
    In 1961 the church purchased new E. & R. hymnals from Zion UCC of Addieville. This hymnal did not cause dissent among the congregation.
     
    On March 3, 1963 at a called meeting, the congregation decided to incorporate under the name of St. John's Church of Johannisburg, Illinois. This was recorded in Springfield, Ill. on March 15, 1963. This action was the result of a monetary donation by Elisa Bruegeman (Mrs. Fred Bruegeman) providing the stepping-stone for the current perpetual care program for St. John's Cemetery. This gift, along with volunteer labor from the congregation, has maintained the cemetery grounds and helped uncover gravestones dating back to the founding of St. John's Church.
     
    In 1964 the Sunday School and several individuals gave a set of flags to theChurch.
     
    In March of 1965 the Church building was reroofed.
     
    In 1972, St. John's joined the Big Six Larger Parish along with Stone Church, Darmstadt, Biddleborn, Lenzburg and Fayetteville. The original idea was to have three pastors to alternate in serving the six churches. It was hard to find pastors to work in this manner. At first there was one pastor as administrator with two students, then two pastors with one student and one supply pastor. In 1976, Stone Church voted to leave the Big Six. After much debate the remaining five congregations decided to continue as separate churches and, on July 1, 1976, the Big Six Larger Parish was dissolved.
     
    In September 1976, St. John's again called Rev. Hans Nottrott (then retired) to serve as supply pastor. In 1981, Rev. James Mory took over as the dedicated supply pastor for the congregation until October 1983. Rev. Robert Utke, while serving as the pastor of Stone Church, also became the supply pastor to St. John's serving us from 1982 until July of 2002.
     
    In 1981 the Church records were micro-filmed and a portion of our records can be found on the Washington County Genealogy Trails website thanks to the volunteer work of Gloria Dettleff of St. Louis, MO.
     
    In 1986 new cloths were purchased for the altar, pulpit and lectern as well as new flags.
     
    On May 24, l987 the congregation held a confirmand reunion in honor of the 150th Anniversary of St. John's Church. This event was attended by 65 of the 107 confirmands living at that time. A celebration service was also held on September 27, 1987.
     
    In 1993 the church interior was repainted. The front arched windows were replaced with the current stained glass in 1994 with the help of Mr. Clayton Erickson, who donated his services as glasscutter to help create the windows. This year also saw the installation of the church's first "modern" bathroom in the South side of the furnace room.
     
    In 1995 schoolhouse improvements included chimney removal, electric wall heaters, ceiling lights with fans, a new sink and cabinet, running water and a new entrance door. Ceiling fans were installed in the sanctuary.
     
    In 1996 the first congregational church picnic was held. It replaced the Family Christmas Party. The picnic was replaced by semi-annual breakfasts. Rev. Robert Utke organized a Junior High Youth Group at St. Peter's, Stone Church and included youth from St. John's.
     
    In 1997 the congregation celebrated their 160th anniversary with a dinner at the Legion Home in St. Libory. 120 dinners were served.
     
    In 1998 the renovation of the front rooms (which included the raising of the ceilings), the dedication of the memorial flagpole, a new cross on the steeple to repair damage from a lightning strike, and the repainting of the sanctuary and front rooms was completed. The original wood frame windows in the sanctuary and front rooms were replaced in 1999 and new carpeting was installed in 2000.
     
    In 2001 Mr. Clayton Erickson again offered his services to help create the new arched windows in the chapel.
     
    In Dec 2001 St. John's Church participated in the Annual Okawville Christmas Stroll. Along with Stone Church, we created a pictorial directory of our members.
     
    In 2002, Rev. Robert Utke retired from our church and served only St. Peter's in Stone Church. We were served by supply ministers until Rev. Ken Richter was called in 2003.
     
    In 2004 the front of our church was made handicap accessible with new steps, ramp and handrails.
     
    In 2005 new landscaping added to the beauty of the front exterior.
     
    In 2006 the front doors of the church were replaced. A Public Address system was installed.
     
    In 2007 remodeling included a new roof on the church, steeple and furnace room plus new gutters on the church and furnace room. Our 170th anniversary was celebrated with a special service and dinner at Chicken's in St. Libory. Members of Zion in Addieville and St. Peter's in Stone Church were our guests. The church parking lot, school driveway and cemetery road were oiled and chipped.
     
    In 2008 new windows were installed in the schoolhouse. The church bathroom was updated with new cabinets and lavatory. New doors on the front and south side of the church were installed.
     
    In 2009 a new furnace and air conditioning were installed in the church.
     
    In 2011 new hymnals were purchased. Removed the large ash tree east of the Church following a wind storm and planted a replacement.
     
    In 2012 the interior of the sanctuary and front rooms were remodeled and painted. The altar chairs were reupholstered and a new dossal cloth was installed in preparation for our 175th anniversary celebration on September 23, 2012. On September 9, 2012 the congregation re-created an old fashion picnic from years past.
     
    In all of the history of St. John's Johannisburg we see God's hand leading and blessing the affairs of the congregation. Our prayer is that God through his son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior shall continue to lead us in doing His work and help us be a blessing to ourselves, our community and the world.
     
    (Editor's Note: Photogenically, the Johannisburg church easily is a "prize" in the county, its simple yet dominant architecture reminiscent of an age that is fast disappearing from the American scene)
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    - - -   History of the Church   - - -
    (A Tribute to Our Pastors)

    Unknown1837 - 1838 Dr. Theo C. Schieler 1925 - 1928
    Ottomar Fuerbringer1839 - 1842  Herman Erber 1928 - 1929
    Unknown1843 - 1845  Rev. Eggen 1928 - 1929
    William Frank1846 - 1848  Rheinhold Schmiechen 1929 - 1939
    William Flickinger1848 - 1856  Carl A. J. Buck 1940 - 1953
    Christoph H. Erni1856 - 1857  John M. Hertel 1954 - 1958
    R. Knoll 1857 - 1863  Edwin Eigenrauch 1959 - 1959
    Gustav Staiger1863 - 1864  Hans M. Nottrott 1959 - 1966
    Unknown 1865 - 1865  Paul Stange 1966 - 1967
    Gustav Seydel 1866 - 1869  Edward A. Mayer 1967 - 1971
    P. Lorentzen 1869 - 1873  Paul Stange 1971 - 1972
    Adolf Von Mengershausen 1874 - 1880  Big Six Larger Parish 1972 - 1976
    Carl Munter 1880 - 1880  Carl Priepke 1972 - 1976
    P. W.Schaefer 1880 - 1881  Dwight Borden 1972 - 1976
    E. W. Leker 1882 - 1882  John Burke 1972 - 1976
    Adolf Dietrich 1882 - 1884  Ronald Gibson 1972 - 1976
    Adalbert Hammerschmidt 1884 - 1887  Paul Eaves 1972 - 1976
    Wilhelm Weber 1887 - 1888  Hans M. Nottrott 1976 - 1980
    A. Hanft 1888 - 1890  A. E. Klemme 1977 - 1977
    C. Schmidt 1890 - 1891  James Mory 1980 - 1982
    C. J. Kniker 1891 - 1895  George Schuette 1982 - 1982
    E. Hugo 1895 - 1900  Robert Utke 1982 - 2002
    A. Seffzig 1900 - 1905  Bruce Moeller* 2002 - 2003
    Fr. Hempelmann 1906 - 1906  Don Jones* 2002 - 2003
    William Schuessler 1906 - 1906  Kenneth Richter 2003 - 2009
    P. Krickhan 1906 - 1906  Bill Cummins* 2010 - 2010
    Christian Bendigkeit 1907 - 1910  Herb Schafale* 2010 - 2010
    J. Krause 1910 - 1913  John Riggs* 2010 - 2010
    Theo Otto Uhdau 1913 - 1922  Elmer Bowman* 2010 - 2010
    Theophil Wittlinger 1922 - 1923  Bill Groennert 2010
    Fred Bock 1924 - 1925      

    * Indicates Supply Pastor
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    - - -   History of the Church   - - -
    (In Remembrance of Our Veterans)
    Bates, Henry CPL Army WW II
    Blumhorst, Fred W. ILL. Vet. PVT. Co. 1 40 Infantry WW I
    Blumhorst, Ralph H. Tec. 4 U.S. Army WW II.
    Boecklin, Benjamin R. ILL. PVT. Salvage Div. QMC WW I
    Boecklin, Gustav W. ILL. PFC 226 Mil. Police Co. WW I
    Boerner, Edmund Carl Friedrich Veteran
    Froehlke, Hermann HeinrichVeteran
    Marquard, Henry Gustav Veteran
    Marquard, William Henry Illinois PVT. 144 Infantry WW I
    Moellman, John Carl Co. C. 49 ILL. Inf.
    Nobe, Earl H. Friedrich Veteran
    Nobe, Raymond L. Tec. 5 Army WW II
    Nolte, Gustav A. H. CPL Army WW I
    Pieper, Henry, Friedrich W. PVT. Co. H 345 Infantry WW I
    Recker, Christ Hermann Heinrich PVT. 1st Class Co. A 309th Tr HGRS and MP
    Schuetz, Herbert H. PFC Army WW II
    Steinkamp, Harold F. Veteran
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    - - -   Church Ministry and Governance   - - -
    (2012)

     
    Names are presented left to right, front then back

    Pastor Bill
    Pastor Bill
    Rev. Bill Groenert
    Church Council
    Church Council
    Susan Wisneski, Barbara Doelling, Christy Koenigstein,
    Christina Krewinghaus, Dan Blumhorst, Kermit Doelling,
    Rev. Bill Groenert

    Anniversary Committee
    Anniversary Committee
    Rev. Bill Groenert, Geri Doelling, Cindy Steinkamp
    Women's Guild
    Women's Guild
    Rev. Bill Groenert, Melva Doelling, Ruth Krewinghaus,
    Ora Mae Droege

    Sunday School
    Sunday School
    Hayden Heintz, Peirson Krewinghaus
    Rev. Bill Groenert, Candace Doelling
    Cemetery Committee
    Cemetery Committee
    Rev. Bill Groenert, Candace Doelling
    Stanley Droege, Geri Doelling

    Janitor & Organist
    Janitor & Organist
    Stanley Droege, Steve Droege, Rev. Bill Groenert

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    - - -   Church History   - - -
    Pictorial
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    100th Anniversary article
    100th Anniversary Article - 1937
    St. Louis Globe Democrat

     
     
          JOHANNISBURG, ILL., September 3. -- This farm com-
    munity will on Sunday, September 19, celebrate the 100th
    anniversary of its only church, the original building of which
    was erected in 1837 by settlers of the Evangelical faith.
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    125th Anniversary Service - 1962
    125th Anniversary service
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    140th Anniversary
    140th Anniversary - 1977
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    150th Anniversary - 1987
    Confirmation Reunion

    150th Confirmation Reunion
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    170th Anniversary
    170th Anniversary - 2007
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    Church Interior - Prior to 1948
    Pre 1948 Interior
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    Church Interior - Christmas Stroll 2001
    2001 Interior
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    The Church - 1909
    The Church 1909
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    Church Parsonage - 1987
    Church Parsonage 1987
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    Venedy Band - 1951 Picnic in The Park
     
    Band Leading the Parade
    Leading the Parade
     
    Band Leading the Parade
    Performing at the Picnic
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    Sunday School Float - 1950's
    1950s Sunday School Float
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    Women's Guild - 1962
    Women's Guild 1962
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    - - -   Planting for the future   - - -
    (Sunday School)
    Planting a Tree Planting a Tree 2
     
    Peirson Krewinghaus and Hayden Heintz Plant Tree (5/12)
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