Legally, the history of St. John’s Lutheran Church began May 5, 1839 when, by an Act of the Ohio Legislature, part of what was known as the United Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Friedens (Peace) Church was incorporated as a separate English speaking congregation and received the name of St. John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church. However, old records of the church indicate it had been functioning under that name at least seven years prior to that time.
Further research into old church records, parish papers and letters, copies of early newspapers, books of the history of Zanesville and Muskingum County and other sources, evidence the fact that St. John’s can be traced back to the year 1803 when Nicholas Border and his wife, Elizabeth, with their infant daughter came to Zanesville. Other Lutheran families quickly followed: those of John Alter , Sr., Michael Sockman, George Clapper, Philip Munch, Jacob Mercer, Jacob Rees, and others.
These were German immigrants who had crossed the Allegheny Mountains seeking the fertile lands of the Ohio country. The organization of the first church was effected June 8, 1813. The original log structure was replaced by a frame building in 1820.
In 1824 a new name, the United Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed (Friedens) Church was adopted. In 1839, the English speaking group separated from the Friedens Church to form St. John’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In the articles in incorporation dated May 26, 1919, two words were omitted from the old name) St. John’s English Evangelical Church) and the new name given as St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The vestibule of the current church, located at the corner of Seventh and Market Streets, was dedicated September 11, 1927.
We welcome you to join us in worship next Sunday!