St. John's History

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is proud to celebrate over 170 years of history. On March 3, 1844, a group of Swedes and Norwegians organized St. John’s, then called Pine Lake Scandinavian Parish.  On the same day, the local Bishop consecrated their cemetery, which can still be found as “Holy Innocents” on Highway C.  A local Swede and early parish leader, Gustaf Unonius, entered Nashotah House Seminary to be ordained as its first pastor.

             In August of 1847, many Norwegians members of Pine Lake Parish left to organize a new Norwegian Lutheran congregation in Johnson’s Mill, now Stone Bank. The congregation was officially named St. John’s Lutheran, though it was referred to as Pine Lake Norwegian Lutheran Church for many years.

            In 1885, the original wooden church was replaced by the present brick church.  In 1924, it was raised to add a basement and front addition.  In 1980, after years of debate, the congregation  moved the entire church building from the cemetery next to Kuhtz’s General Store, across the street to its current location, adding at the same time a larger basement for Sunday School rooms and fellowship. Many fine pastors have served the congregation over the years.

            St. John’s has been a caring and mission-minded congregation that proclaims the Word of God while educating youth and adults. It has been a rock to Stone Bank and its surrounding neighborhoods. As a congregation we look forward to the future in excitement along with Pastor Karen Jost, as we continue to be a welcoming Christ-centered  community of believers.

  July 2021  
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