In response to the call of several Lutheran Christians living in and around Sherburn, St. John's Lutheran Church was first organized as a Congregation on August 29th, 1890 by eleven families. The newly organized congregation first met in the schoolhouse and then in the Baptist Church which stood in the middle of the first block south of the railroad tracks on Manyaska Street.
In 1891, members of the congregation began construction of the new church. It measured 20 by 30 feet and cost $100. The property also included 5 lots in the southern part of Sherburn between South Main and South Manyaska. The new church was dedicated on November 5th, 1891. The church was incorporated at that time. In 1907, the congregation purchased a 16 by 24 foot house for $500 to serve as the Parsonage, the house was moved in to Sherburn in 1909 and served as the Parsonage until 1941.
In 1921 the Congregation was re-incorporated. In 1922, the church was enlarged and rebuilt, with its dedication taking place in October of 1922. The Sherburn Methodist Church was rented for six months while construction of the church took place. In 1924, the congregation joined the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. At this time too, the congregation decided that they should have both English and German services on the German Sunday.
In 1941, $2,000 was spent to purchase a larger parsonage located three lots north of the first parsonage at 218 S. Manyaska Street. Also that year, the church purchased 150 new hymnals. In 1948, ground was broken in April for a new church; the foundation was poured as a solid mass on May 17th and the cornerstone was laid on June 20th. In 1949, the completed church was dedicated on May 1st. The size of the new church was 100 by 34 feet and was built at a cost of $58,000.
In 1950, the old parsonage at 218 S. Manyaska was sold, the old church torn down and a new parsonage built on that site. The new parsonage was dedicated in November of that year. It had seven rooms and was built at a cost of $16,000. In 1958, an Educational Wing of 14 classrooms was added to the north side of the church building. The Educational Wing was built at a cost of $52,000. The new wing was joined to the church by a large entryway with cloakroom space, restrooms and a crying room. In 1968, an Allen Organ was purchased on May 28th at a cost of $6,900. Our present organist, Mary Lange, began playing that year.
In 1970, the property across the street to the west of the church was purchased to be used as a parking lot for the church. In 1977, ground was broken on April 24th for a 31 by 71 foot, 2-story addition to the church at a cost of $105,000. The structure included a new kitchen and lounge and several Sunday School rooms. Also that year the Sanctuary was air conditioned. The church purchased a house and an 80 by 150 foot lot to the north of the church for $19,000. The house was sold and moved from that property. In 1978, the new addition was dedicated on April 9th.
In 1983, the parsonage was sold for $16,300 and moved to a new location four miles south of Sherburn. The parsonage basement was filled and a circle drive built east of the church. A new roof was placed on the Sunday School and new additions. In 1986, a new constitution and by-laws were adopted. Also that year, the new addition was carpeted, including halls, steps, Fellowship Room and offices. In 1988, a lift for the handicapped and those needing assistance was installed. In 1990, new windows were placed on the educational wing. Also that year, St. John's celebrated the Church Centennial with a confirmation reunion in June and other activities in August.
In 2010, the church celebrated its 125 Anniversary with events throughout the year and a special service on November 14, 2010. Around 8 to 10 inches of snow fell in the area the day before, but over 300 people still attended the special service the next day. Former Pastors, DYEs and members were all part of the special service for St. John's.
In 2013, a new handicapped "unisex" bathroom was installed on the main floor of the church and a new concrete parking lot was created on the east side of the church.
(Excerpts of the church history were taken from narratives contained in the St. John's Lutheran Church Centennial book)