In the country, five miles west of the Village of Edgar, approximately one-half mile off Highway 97 in Marathon County you'll find St. John. One of the features of our church is the very high steeple which towers approximately 90 feet in the air. At night the lighted steeple can be seen from miles away, lending itself to the nickname people have given our church for many years "High Steeple Church."
Our Ministry Center and classrooms provide space for Adult Education, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Confirmation Classes. The Fellowship Hall is furnished with tables and chairs that seat approximately 150. The large open room is useful for our church events, family gatherings and many other functions. The fully equipped kitchen provides a wonderful area to prepare foods for luncheons, gatherings and community dinners.
The beginnings of St. John go back before the Civil War. On the day before Pentecost, 1860, eight pioneers arrived to the land they had earlier purchased in the dense pine forest that once covered this area. Beginning with the oldest person, there was Frederick Hamann, his wife Maria, their 14-year-old daughter Friedericka, and their son Frederick. Son Frederick was also married, his wife was Friedericka (born Marquardt), and they had a daughter, Maria, who was two months old when they arrived. Carl Marquardt, brother of Friedericka Hamann, and Wilhelm Garbrecht completed the group. It had taken them six weeks to travel by oxen-drawn covered wagons from Stevens Point, a 40-mile trek.
At their request in 1862, the Rev. J.J. Hoffmann of the Town of Berlin visited them in order to baptize several children.
On July 4, 1867, the Rev. J.F. Wilhelm Hudtloff was ordained into the holy ministry at Naugart in the Town of Berlin. He visited the Town of Wien at regular intervals and played an important role in the early development of St. John. According to later reports, he assisted St. John to organize in 1869.
On May 31, 1880, St. John affiliated with the Missouri Synod, an affiliation that continues to this day. From 1881 to 1884, large immigrations from Germany settled in Wisconsin. Many came from Pomerania, then northeast Germany, now northwest Poland. Fifty-five baptized members were added to the burgeoning congregation in 1879, and forty-one in 1881. The largest number of baptisms (twenty-one) occurred in both 1881 and 1882.
In 1882, when the congregation called Mr. Carl Busch, a former school teacher, deposed from office in Germany, to be their pastor, the conservative minority objected to what they considered an unordained and unorthodox teacher as pastor.
The newly reorganized St. John moved about 1/4 mile west of the original site where they worshiped in a white frame building which served as their church. This building served until 1908 when the current "high steeple" church was built. Several additions have been made to our church home over the years since 1908, most notable the addition of a parish hall built in the 1940's and the building of an enlarged ministry center (remodeling, new classrooms, church offices, kitchen) in 2004. Today,
St. John continues to serve as a beacon of light in our community - preaching and proclaiming the Good News of Christ crucified and administering the blessed Sacraments as Jesus instituted them for us.
1875-1876 Wilhelm Weber
1878-1882 Hermann Erck
1883-1883 F. H. Reichmann
1890-1891 Christoph Droegemueller
1894-1895 Christoph Becker
1896-1899 A. F. Imm
1899-1900 L. R. Heidelberger
1901-1909 Joseph Oesch
1909-1913 Friedrich A. Schiemann
1913-1923 Edward H. Buerger
1923-1924 J. Gust Dobratz
1925-1946 Emanuel Malueg
1947-1956 Harold Malotky
1956-1960 Frederick Kempfert
1961-1967 Ferdinand Timler
1967-1972 David C. Schroeder
1972-1980 Mark J. Nicolaus
1981-2003 Roger Moldenhauer
2004-2009 Matthew Christians
2009-2018 Jeffrey A. Lambrecht
2019-Present Chad Schopp