In the 1840’s some of Beardstown’s German Lutheran immigrants, who had been attending services of other denominations, felt the need to form their own congregation. They did so in 1848. During the early years the group met in a small school that was located at Sixth and State Streets, or, occasionally, in the recently constructed courthouse on the Beardstown square.
Later, the congregation erected its own church on the corner of Fourth and Lafayette. This building was dedicated in January, 1851.
During the early 1870’s a disagreement arose among the membership, causing the church to divide into two congregations. The group that retained the name St. John’s sold their interest in the Fourth Street property and purchased land on the southeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson Streets. Initially, services were held in a parochial school, which was the first building constructed on the property. A church was erected and dedicated in 1872.
The current church building was dedicated on May 3, 1914. This panoramic photograph of the congregation was taken that day, on the 6th Street side of the church. Click here to view enlarged sections of the photo in which a few of the individuals have been identified.