A Brief History of St. John's

St. John's was established in 1884 by five German immigrant families who settled in the region north and west of Green Bay to begin dairy farming. Services were held in the homes of the members, then in the Town of Chase school until in 1890 a log building was erected with donated trees and lumber. By 1913 the log building was inadequate for the congregation and a red brick building was constructed for the sum of $4,500. In the 1960's district officials thought it would be wise for the 190 members of St. John's to merge with a nearby congregation. Fortunately the members refused to act on the district's recomendation. By the late 1960s the area began to grow as roads improved and Green Bay expanded northward. Soon the congregation was nearly 300 strong and the brick building proved too small for the growing congregation. It was replaced by the present structure in 1971. An educational wing was added in 1980. In 2009 the congregation completed a major renovation. A new gathering area, office suite, bell tower and covered drop off area was added to the front of the building, and four large classrooms were added to the back. In addition, the sanctuary was completely renovated for a fresh, clean, modern look.

In the last 131 years, St. John's has been served by 18 pastors. The current pastor, the Rev. Paul F. Heykes will celebrate his 28th year of service in 2015. The second longest tenure was that of the Rev. H. Karl Diemer who served 26 years. The Rev. L. Elizabeth Foster was the first woman to serve as pastor. The Rev. Fred Ohlrogge, Sr. and the Rev. Fred Ohlrogge, Jr., father and son, served the congregation in the 1890's and 1930's respectively. Eight former members of the parish have been ordained into the Lutheran minsitry. Three became bishops: the Rev. Konrad Koosman in California, the Rev. Theodore Ohlrogge in Wisconsin and the Rev. Martin Proehl in Ohio. The others include: the Revs. James Larsen, Louis Birr, Robert Garbrecht, James Ohlrogge and Sherry Van Lishout (nee Van Donsel).

St. John's -- Morgan shortly after construction in 1914
Our Oldest photo -- the confirmation class of 1906
Photos: Above - the birck church was built in 1913 to replace the log building from the 1880's. Left - the confirmation class of 1906 is the oldest photo in our archives. It shows the interior of the log building. Right - The three date-stones from the three major renovations of our facility. Below - Some views of our building as it is today (left), and prior to our renovations of 2009 (right).
A beautiful winter day in 2007

Future leaders of St. John's -- Morgan