St. John's United Church of Christ, Elkhart, Indiana
A Brief History
“Dedicated to the Triune God” by fifteen families, St. John's Church (a small 30 x 50 foot building) was erected on the corner of Eden and Prairie Streets, June 23, 1889. Prior to this time, the small group of people met at the Knights of Pythias Hall on Main Street. In October 1889, the congregation was organized as “Deutsche Evangelisch Lutherische St. Johannes Gereinde” (St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church).
The first church building served the congregation until November 24, 1912. St. John's Evangelical and Reformed Church laid the cornerstone of the church that would serve the congregation for the next 50 years on May 12, 1912. In 1959, the Congregational Christan Church united with the Evangelical and Reformed Church forming the United Church of Christ. On April 18, 1961 the cornerstone was laid for an attractive colonial style building at Bay and Bristol Streets, and on April 22, 1962, the congregation carried articles from the old building to the new building. The Bristol Street facility served the congregation for about 50 years. In 1965 class rooms and a parlor were added. The addition of another wing of classrooms was finished in 1983.
On July 31, 2011, a final service at 2701 East Bristol Street was held. Wanting this property to continue as a site of Worship, the Congregation gifted the building and four acres free of any liens to Granger Community Church, Elkhart Campus. The Congregation of St. John's, as in the biblical example of Jubilee in Leviticus chapter 25, gave the improved Bristol Street property back to the Lord.
However, in August 2011 a small group of members organized for the purpose of continuing to worship as
St. John’s United Church of Christ, Elkhart, Indiana. On September 25, worship Service began at the new location using lay leaders. and guest pastors.
….To be Continued.