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Our History


Germans began settling in the Pierce area. The Lutherans in Pierce, Norfolk, and other locations were served by an LCMS missionary-at-large, Rev. A.W. Frese.  


The Pierce Lutherans established the first organized church body in Pierce County on October 23, 1871 under the name "Die Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische St. Johannes-Gemeinde Ungeanderter Augsburgischen Confession (St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession) in Pierce County, Nebraska."


The members of St. John's called their first pastor, Rev. Ph.S. Estel.


Church services and day school were held in member's homes until the first church building was constructed in 1884.


A school house was built on the church property. A few years later, in 1898, Mr. F. Metschke was brought in as the first resident school teacher.


Construction began on a larger, second church building which serves as our house of worship up to the present time. 


Rev. H.A. Hilpert, our longest-serving pastor, completed 32 years of service at St. John's. 


After 86 years of teaching students, the congregation voted to discontinue the parochial school on account of the financial strain.


St. John’s celebrates its 100th anniversary.


St. John's and Zion Lutheran Church of Hoskins, Nebraska, entered into a dual-parish agreement. This relationship was a blessing to both congregations and continued until Zion, Hoskins closed in 2008 and many of its families joined St. John's. 


St. John’s celebrates its 125th anniversary. The most impressive display during the celebration, hanging from the church ceiling, was a Dove Mobile featuring 1790 hand cut white doves, which symbolized the 1790 baptisms performed at John’s during its first 125 years.



Our present-day fair stand was built at the Pierce County Fairgrounds. Since 1941, members have enjoyed the fellowship and fun of serving homemade pies, hot beef sandwiches, and other signature items to our community each summer during the fair. 


With the theme "Celebrating God's Blessings," St. John's celebrated its 150th Anniversary. As part of the year's celebration, a Nebraska Historical Marker was dedicated, designating St. John’s Lutheran Church as the first organized church in Pierce County.


Our Lord Jesus Christ continues to richly bless our church family as we receive His Word and Sacraments, and He send us out to proclaim His saving Name in our community and world. 

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