St. John's United Church Of Christ
"The Church Is The People"
St. John's Historical Highlights:
The foundation of St. John's United Church Of Christ can actually be traced back 150 yrs. to a migration of German families from Crawford County to Henry County. Drainage of the "Black Swamp" had begun paving way for these settlers.
1860 St. John's Reformed congregation adopted their original constitution.
1860 Emanuel of New Bavaria and St. John's shared a pastor for 41yrs.
1901 The pastorate was split, although St. John's wanted to remain as one charge.
1902 Parsonage was built: Cemetery Association began & cemetery was started.
1920 60th year anniversary was celebrated with congregational membership at 396.
1922 Beginning of the 37 year pastorate of Rev. Otto Stockmeier.
1920's English worship Service & Sunday School.
1922 Pipe organ installed.
1946 Chimes were added in honor of the 72 men who served in WWII.
1950 Choir began.
1955 Educational building was attached to the wood frame church.
1956 August-Fire destroyed the entire church and educational building.
1957 March-Plans were approved for the present facility, which is ground level with a balcony, choir room and attic storage.
1958October-Dedication of new facility.
1950's - 1960's Five Sons of the congregation ordained into the ministry.
1959-1969 Challenging 10yrs.
End of LONG Pastorate; three pastorates to follow in the nest 10yrs.
Built new Sanctuary & Educational wing and a new 5 bedroom parsonage.
1966Theological split with some members leaving and forming Peace Reform Church; this Church continues to be a viable congregation in the Napoleon, Ohio community.
1969 Beginning of the 18 year pastorate of Rev. Reuben Bebler; this was a healing time for the congregation along with some facility upgrades.
1987 Rev. Bebler retired to Angola, Indiana with the title of Pastor Emeritus.
1988-2000 Another challenging 12yrs!
End of LONG Pastorate; Three pastorates to follow in the next 12yrs; St. John's had one interim, one called pastor and one Interim who became the called pastor.
Division in church surrounding those serving as pastor and those on music staff.
Decline of Sunday School
Addition of Bell Choir along with Facility up-keep; new sound system, and upgraded furnace, new roof, repaved parking lots, parsonage up-keep, kitchen renovated.
Apathy towards Association and Conference developed.
Congregational depression settled in as the norm.
2000 Interim called, playground installed, handicap bathroom and storage building plan approved.
2001 Rev. Jane I. Hillman called as Pastor & Teacher.
Sunday Shool & Confirmation program revitalized; Blended worship established.
Leaders assume roles & responsibilities; Elders begin lay visitation program.
Mission outreach shows significant growth; including the start of a food pantry.
2003 Pastor Bebler returns to the community and is called as Pastor of Visitation for St. John's
2011 New Handicaped Automatic Doors Have Been Installed.
2012 Our Old Pipe Organ Of 52yrs. Has Finally Gave Out!
The Church Congregation Voted On A Brand New Allen Digital Organ Due To Arrive At Our Church On Or Around The End Of June 2012. Thanks Everyone Who Made This Wornderful New Organ A Dream Come True! And Special Thanks To Our Music Director Greg N. And All Who Helped getting it approved! Hat's Off To Him and All That Helped Make It Happen!
Pastor Jane H. Hillman Ended her 12yr. teaching's with St. John's Faith Family on January 27th, 2013. We will sure miss her and wish her the best of luck in her new congregation as she moves ahead with the lord's calling! Thank's so much for all the great memories Pastor Jane! We will sure miss you!
St. John's UCC is now in search of a new Pastor to carry-out the duties of Pastor Jane!
Present: New Ministries continue to be explored, as we find ways to grow as a faith community.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013