ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
(The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
A family united by faith in Christ gathering around God's Word and Sacraments.
To reach out in Christ-like concern and Christ-borne love to each other and to those without Christ!
140 Years of History
When the new school building was in use, the first church building was purchased by Mr. August Ohst for $40. He moved it to a site one block north and one block west of the new school and converted it into his residence. It has been remodeled and enlarged. On October 12, 1890 the voters approved buying coal for heating the school. Anyone who didn't provide wood for heating the other buildings was to pay $3. They also approved building a coal chute measuring 8'x16'x8' high at one end and 10' high at the other end. It was to be between the schoolhouse and the barn. Mr. Stuchert was hired to be the kirchen diener (ring the bell, lock and unlock doors, etc.) for $25.00 a year. Each child was to have two years of instruction before confirmation unless they were eighteen years of age. School age children of families who lived six to eight or more miles from Alma attended rural public schools until they were eleven or twelve years of age and then roomed and boarded with members in town in order to attend Christian Day School and confirmation instruction. After confirmation they were to attend Christenlehre held after services with all school-age children until they were eighteen years of age. On November 1890, a resolution was passed to build a sidewalk to the school. (At that time many sidewalks were of wood construction. On November 1890, a resolution was approved to have liturgical services. That is, the worshippers would use a hymnal, sing together, pray together and use a regular set of readings for each Sunday of the year. (These liturgical services were held for a time, then stopped to be replaced by the circuit-rider services, and then again held for periods of time through the years.) The minutes of the voter's assembly on January 11, 1891, state that a new church book was to be purchased and that cards were to be passed out to collect funds for poor students. On March 30, 1891 it was approved that voting members should be 21 years of age; the lamps from the second church were to be sold; a rail fence was to be built between the church and school and behind the parsonage, and a school fun picnic was to be held on May 29 or June 5. On August 23, 1891, the voters approved building a new privy (outdoor toilet) on Mr. Droge's lot behind the barn, adding $50 to the teacher's salary on January 1, 1892 and installing a cement floor in the school cellar. On October 11, 1891, they asked Mr. Albrecht if he could get along without the $50 raise because the congregation was short of money. The teacher was to collect money for candy for children's treats at Christmas. A children's Reformation service was held on November 1, that year. In January, 1892, the Alma City Board asked the congregation to take down the old stone fence at the cemetery so a public toilet could be built. The city would pay the cost of removing the fence. The elders were to see that all would be done in order. At the October 2 meeting approved putting a door between the teacher's living quarters and the confirmation room. At the January, 1893, meeting the teacher received a $5 a year increase; his salary was then $360.00 a year. On February 12, 1893, the elders were instructed to make the necessary repairs on the church and school but keep the cost under $10. At the April 3, 1893 meeting the voters wished that the young people would make new benches in church and requested that pictures not be placed in church; those that were there were to be returned to the owners. On July 2, 1893 it was voted that a water-tight bottom be put under the bell so water from rain would not leak to the main floor. The teacher was to see that the reed organ was in good condition. He wasn't limited to the cost of $10. On October 1, 1893 the voters voted to buy a United States and Kansas map to help the students at school learn history and geography. On October 6, 1895, Mr. Albrecht accepted a call to Pleasant Ridge, Illinois. Pastor Pennekamp finished the school term. In August, 1896, Mr. J.H. Meyer accepted the call to serve our Lord in the capacity of teacher. He also served for a time as church secretary. He lived in the second story of the school. In 1896 the voters approved the use of the new Synodical Catechism and the purchase of a German-English Word book. In 1898 Pastor Pennekamp accepted a call to Bremen. A call was extended to Rev. Adolf Schmid of Duluth, Kansas on September 15, 1898. He accepted the call and was installed on as St. John's third pastor in October. At a voter's meeting it was resolved to pay members 6% interest on loans they made to the congregation. In April, 1901, the voters discussed acquiring more land for the cemetery.