Love Pleads For All

Welcome to St. John's. 

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Welcome to St. John's. Where community emerges.

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.

About Us
From 1877 until Today

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.

Our Specialties

We are who we are and welcome you to be who you are. God brings us together to be for each other.

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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.

Every Heart Wants Love

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.

Contact Us
All around I see great potential in our community. Most of all, I find people who care and want to walk with neighbors and strangers the way Jesus walks with them: open, affirming, and encouraging
Meyer at Marti
Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer Pastor
Rhythm, dance, theater, art - our souls must sing and celebrate and play the blues when the time calls for it. We all need to express ourselves, let our spirits soar, and embrace Christ's love on our faith journey.
Ryan Sinclair President & Drummer
People at St. John's care deeply for everyone in our neighborhood. Our partnership with Circle of Caring - Sweet Purpose provides hundreds of pounds of food to local households every week.
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Jan Dennis Outreach Coordinator