St. John's Lutheran Church in historic Springfield has lived the many changes in this community - always seeking to create community that makes way for God and loves neighbors and strangers alike. For love in public seeks justice for all.
We are a Reconciled In Christ & Affirming congregation, seeking to know Christ, striving to make Christ known, and serving with a new freshness. This is a safe place to deepen faith, share doubts, and explore spirituality with others.
We welcome all people with their race, ethnicity, culture, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical or mental challenges, addictions, family status, AND, if we’ve missed anything, let us know so we can welcome that of you too. We are committed to a Beloved Community of racial and gender equity.
The year was 1877. The Compromise of 1877 made Northerner Rutherford B. Hayes president and allowed former Confederates to govern the South, marking the transition from Reconstruction to the Redeeming and Jim Crow segregation. Levi Coffin, often referred to as the President of the Underground Railroad, died. Sitting Bull surrendered to the US Army, and the Nez Perce fought for freedom that summer in Idaho and Montana. And the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John was organized in Jacksonville, the first Lutheran church in the city and the second oldest in the state.
A small nucleus of Germans in Jacksonville, originally from the region between Hamburg and Bremen, had been meeting for some fifteen years in private homes, in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Chapel in La Villa, and in St. John’s Episcopal Church. According to an early handwritten account, Mr. Claus Meyer approached the Reverend Charles F. Bansemer, D.D. of South Carolina to become their pastor. By 1878 they had built a small 25 by 50 foot frame building on the corner of Laura and Ashley Streets. At that time Jacksonville’s population was around 7600.
We are who we are and welcome you to be who you are. God brings us together to be for each other.
Proud of Springfield and our history, our facilities are used by groups who love and enrich our neighbors.
We use our freedom in Christ to serve others. Loving our neighbors as ourselves fulfills God's will.
Life may fill us with joy, give us care-free moments, or saddled us with sorrow. The breath of life animates all our experiences, the breath of the Spirit of God. We're not made to be alone. We are created for each other, for love, and service. We belong. Together. Our freedom is the gift to love.