Our History

On June 21, 1891, 22 people accepted the charter and named Saint John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Today, we’re celebrating over 125 years! Learn where we came from.

The Beginning

On June 21, 1891, 22 people accepted the charter and named Saint John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church. Thus began the 19 year ministry of Reverand G.W. Snyder. During his time here, the church was built, the congregation grew, and programs were developed for the membership. This ministry was followed by four brief pastorates.


Reverend C. J. Ringer arrived to minister to a divided and discouraged 60-member parish which was heavily in debt. The 14 year pastorate of Reverend Ringer saw the church become self-supporting, the congregation grew to 389, and again programming was developed to further the mission of the church.

Early 1930, Dr. Ralph W. Livers became pastor of Saint John’s. The Golden Jubilee, celebrated on June 21, 1941, saw all debts paid, including the original loan of $2,000.00, made in 1892 by the Board of Missions. In 1947, Dr. Livers became Pastor Emeritus of Saint John’s. The congregation doubled in size in 11 years.

The 10 year ministry of Reverend E. R. Harrison began in June 1947. During this time a parsonage and parish educational building were completed.


The Reverend W. E. Wicklund served for 10 years at Saint John and during that time the congregation began a pledge drive in 1964 for the construction of a new sanctuary, administrative offices, a lounge, and a tower. The first services in the new sanctuary were in May of 1967. The education wing was named Harrison Hall to recognize the work of Pastor Harrison.

In 1968 Reverend Charles Murnan began his ministry of 4 years. He was followed by an Administrative Intern, Reverend Bard. Reverend V. Schoonover served as pulpit supply during the year 1972-1973.


The ministry of Reverend E. A. Hering was 28 years of expansion, change and reorganization. During this time the original church building was razed and the congregation was served by an assistant pastor for three years, a parish worker for two years, and a youth worker for one year. The mortgage was burned in 1983. In 1991 the church celebrated a year-long centennial celebration and Jon Ylvisaker wrote a centennial hymn for the congregation.

The Reverend Roger Prescott arrived in 1992 and served the congregation as a visitation pastor.


Reverend Judith Hazen, Intentional Interim, assisted the congregation in a study of who we are, where we are, and where we want to go in the future. Under her tutelage, the church realized a clarity of function and roles. This was the first step in the call process. Pastor Jim Munson served as interim pastor for a brief period.

March 2003 saw the installation of Reverend E. Jon Benson as Pastor of Saint John Luthern Church. With his direction and God’s guidance we continue to grow as a congregation and as christians.

Pastor Roderick Hopp joined us in January 2006 and served as Associate Pastor.

Since 2009

In an effort to better serve our community and the needs of our church members we voted to remain at our current location and embark on a major remodeling of our facilities.

Reverend Shannyn Magee joined us in 2010 as Pastor of Children, Youth & Family Ministries.

Due to the size of the project and to shorten the construction time while saving resources we voted to move to a temporary location during construction. The South Campus located at 100 Power Drive Council Bluffs,Ia served as our home starting in spring 2011 until the remodeling was completed in June of 2012.

Let the Light Shine

The video of our journey

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Our Pastors

Pastor Benson & Pastor Shannyn Magee


Our Faith

What drives us