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St. John's History

Our First Church March 31, 1941
History of St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church

German Lutheran immigrants move to Nebraska during the 1880ís. About 1896, the homesteaders began meeting at the Christan and Emilie (Garska) Scherbarth soddie in Loup County for worship.

By 1904 Mrs. Scherbarth and the others had obtained the services of Rev. E. Malueg of Palmer. The Watestrats, Martens, Scherbarth, and Garska families were the original worshippers on Gracie Flats. They were often joined by Emma Goehring who would later become Mrs. Allen Mann. Rev. Malueg lived in Burwell for a time and also conducted a German day school in the Scherbarth boysí bedroom. Rev. Malueg was followed by the Rev. Monhart until sometime around 1908.


Old St. John's Inside
Rev. G. Boehnke of Mira Valley came to Burwell to hold services September 12, 1926, and helped organize the new congregation that would become St. Johnís- Burwell.
The group met in a rural schoolhouse, in private homes, and in other Burwell churches until the finally got a building of their own. The former Baptist Church of Elyria was purchased in 1940, dismantled, and brought to Burwell piece by piece and reassembled. It was dedicated March 31, 1941. How the members of our church loved the little church! In 1961 work begun on the current building, for our growing congregation. This church was dedicated November 8, 1964.

We started out dual parish was Peace at Sargent in 1964.

Our ladies aid begun around 1934. The Dorcas Society of St. Johnís was received into charter membership of the Lutheran Womenís Missionary League of the Missouri Synod on July 23. 1943.

A mortgage burning ceremony was help for the church building on September 27, 1981. On June 17, 1982, the congergation purchased the former Ocse Johnson home at 727 H street as a parsonage. In May of 1986 we purchased the Mathauser property just east of the church. In the winter of 1991-1992 the interior was remodeled.


New Addition in 1998
A former member of our church, Mrs. Bertha McKee, of Estern, NE left a generous bequest in her will in the 1990's. These funds were used to build a large addition to the fellowship hall in 1998.

From these humblest of beginnings, St. John's Burwell has continued to serve under God's constant presence and love.


Inside of the current church
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