On Sunday, June 29, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Shelbyville will celebrate 150 years of service in its rural community.
The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with coffee and fellowship at the church, located just east of the Intersection of 1400 E and 1450 N Co Rd. At 10 a.m. Pastor Wayland Middendort, a former pastor of St. John and currently assistant to the Bishop of The Central/Southern Illinois Synod of the ELCA will lead worship with communion. Special music will be performed by members and friends of the congregation.
At 12:30 p.m. a catered lunch will be served at the Senior Center, Forest Park, Shelbyville. A short program will include blue grass music and special recognition as well as memories from the time capsule buried 25 years ago. At 2 p.m. an open house at the church will include cake and punch.
Photos and other historical items will be on display at the church all day. A slide show of historical church photos will be showing at lunch and the open house.
The community is invited and there are no charges for any of the event. A free-will offering will be taken at lunch; however, reservations for lunch are required by Friday, June 27, so that adequate food is available. Call the church at 217-774-2481 and leave name and number attending.
St. John Church began in early 1860 when several families migrated from central Ohio to Shelby County and united for the purpose of holding worship services in their homes and school houses.
In 1864, they organized into a congregation, adopting a constitution on February 14 of that yer. The congregational name appeared in German. In 1867, one of the first members, Jacob Kircher presented one acre of ground to be used as a site for the church and cemetery. A church was erected in 1870 and services were conducted in German and English. The church was a frame building, 30 x 24 feet, and cost approximately $800. There were 23 voting members and 60 communicants.