St John Lutheran Midland Michigan
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Our History
 
St. John’s was founded in June, 1884. It was founded by German speaking immigrants, assisted by Pastor Sievers, Jr. It has used public buildings and has owned three buildings: a former Baptist church, a church built in 1908-1909 on Grove Street, and its present building at 505 East Carptenter Street.  
 
Click here to read more about St. John's founding.
 
The first service was held in the kitchen of the Karl Haefke farmhouse, located in the present area of Curry Golf Course near M-20. The following families were in attendance: Karl Haefke, Fredanand Sandow, Karl Draegert, August Hints (also spelled Hintz), and Karl Stier.
 
Click here to read more about the Haefke family.
 
At first services were held every five weeks in the Midland Courthouse; official acts were either done during the service or in private  homes.
 
Click here to read about the first baptism, Communion service, and funeral at St. John's.
 
In 1887 Pastor Seivers, Jr. accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church in South Chicago. Rev. K. F. G. Mueller, Jr., who had accepted a call to serve Zion Lutheran in Auburn (Beaver Township), continued to serve the Midland congregation from 1887-1890. 
 
Click here to read more about Pastor Mueller.
 
In the fall of 1888, the congregation purchased a church building from the Baptist congregation. The church was located across the river from downtown Midland, near the Patterson Street school at the end of Benson Street. They paid $500 for it, and Mr. Haefke loaned the congregation the money. Most of the members of the congregation were farmers, and because of the lawlessness in the city of Midland they did not want a church located in the downtown area.
 
Click here to read more about the church location and downtown Midland.
 
There is no exact date for when Christian education was started for the children. If classes were held before the church building was purchased, it would have had to be in homes or a public building. There are references to the school in the first voters' assembly minutes we have (1894). It was important that the children learn German, as it was the official language of the church at that time. The church services were in German, and the Bibles, hymnals, and catechisms they had were also in German.
 
Click here to read more about the early days of the school and Christian instruction.
 
In 1890, Pastor Mueller accepted a call to St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Hemlock. Pastor August Donner accepted his call to Zion Lutheran in Auburn (Beaver Township) and also began to serve in Midland. He served in Midland until 1895, at which time St. John's called its first resident pastor, Rev. Gustav Mueller.
 
Click here to read more about the church's early financial situation.
 
Pastor Mueller took a call to Alpena in 1898, and he informed the Mission Board that Midland was a "hopeless situation." Next to serve the Midland congregation was Rev. K. L. T. (Karl) Mueller who was the pastor at Church of the Lord (Zion) in Iva. He was the brother of Rev. K. F. G. Mueller. He conducted services every three weeks and was paid a salary of $100 per year. He had classes for the children every other week.
 
Click here to read more about the school and church building issues.
 
Pastor Mueller's salary was increased to $125 in January 1902. During this period the church was growing and became more active.
 
Click here to read about an early mission festival and other special services.
 
Pastor Mueller served the congregation until 1903 when he accepted a call to Alpena. On February 1, 1903, a resolution was passed to call a young candidate to be resident pastor. He would be offered a salary of $200 per year and free lodging. On February 14, it was decided that he also would be given firewood for the parsonage. The committee formed to look for suitable property included Jacob Neeb, Leonhart Stark, and Johan Heppner. 
 
Click here to read about the various properties the church considered.
 
The Rev. Karl Linsenmann was called and accepted the call. He was installed on July 12, 1903, and conducted his first service on the 14th. 
 
Click here to read about Pastor Linsenmann and his take on his new congregation.
 
On October 4, 1903, the voters' assembly approved purchasing three lots "across the street from Kraufer's Place." The property was later referred to as James Abbot lot and Snel's two lots, and later still as Lots 7 and 8 in Block H of Carpenter and Hin's addition.
 
Click here to read about the details of the purchased lots.
 
On October 4, 1903, worship services and a school at Christ Lutheran Church in Hubbard began to be supported by Pastor Linsenmann.
 
Click here to read more about Christ Lutheran Church.
 
The congregation built a parsonage in 1903. It is on Gordon Street and is currently the office for a social ministry organization called The Caregiving Network.
 
Click here to read more about the parsonage.
 
On April 21, 1904, Pastor Linsenmann married Louise M. Rice in Saginaw.
 
Click here to read more about Mrs. Linsenmann.
 
In 1906, a mission festival was approved. It was scheduled for August 19. A resolution was passed that the women elect a committee for the festival.
 
Click here to read more about this committee.
 
The first meeting of the Ladies' Aid was held on September 14, 1906. Mrs. Eble was the first president, Miss Schilter (Mrs. Fred Griese) was vice president, and Mrs. Linsenmann was treasurer and secretary.
 
Click here to read more about the meetings and the purpose of the organization.
 
On Sunday, January 20, 1907, a sudden thaw caused high water to wash out both bridges across the Tittabawassee River. The church was flooded, and the organ was ruined. There was no way to cross the river until a scow was built. A "snow bridge" was used in winter.
 
Click here to read about how the congregation dealt with the flood and its aftermath.
 
On April 28, 1907, the voters' assembly passed a resolution to join The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The congregation also established a social ministry.
 
Click here to read about the rationale for joining The LCMS.
 
In 1907, a small cement block school was built on the Grove Street lot.
 
Click here to read more about the school.
 
In the summer of 1908, Pastor Linsenmann surprised the congregation by asking the members to erect a new church next to the parsonage.
 
Click here to read more about this new church building.
 
On June 6, 1909, the church at 609 Gordon Street was dedicated.
 
Click here to read more about the Benson Street property.
 
 

 

Confirmation Questioning of our 8th Grade Students
December 2, 2018


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Copyright 2011 St John’s Lutheran Church & School | 505 E Carpenter St , Midland, MI 48640 | Phone: (989) 835-5861