St. John United Church of Christ
Greenview, IL (1887-1965)
Taken from the Menard County Church History Book, 1976

In the year 1857, the village of Greenview was founded and among the many different nationalities represented, there was a group of German people who felt the need for a place to worship God.

Until plans could be completed to form their own church, they met north of Greenview at what was known as the Jennison School and later, they moved into Marbold's Hall.

They had no regular pastor but accepted sermons from whatever preacher was available at the time.

A constitution and by-laws were drawn up by a committee consisting of Henry Wernsing., Harmon Meyer, Garrett Evers,Sr., Garrett Deverman, John Ackerman and Harmon Warnsing.

Those who placed their signatures on the constitution were Harmon Denverman, J.H. Stitchman, Reinhard Onken, Garrett Deverman, Garrrett Evers,Sr., and John Evers and these men assumed the responsibility for raising funds to build their house of worship; in addition to the above mentioned, there were 45 interested people who signed the constitution.

On April 15, 1887, the building sight was selected. A sum of $250.00 was paid John Stitchman for the ground.

Garrett Evers, Sr., Harmon Warnsing and Diedrich Deverman were elected trustees with Mr. Evers named Chairman and Mr. Warnsing as Secretary.

On June 15, 1887, a bid of $3,200.00 was accepted from Robert Carver, a Petersburg contractor, to build the church. The committee had definite ideas concerning the placement of the building, such as: it was to be 12 feet from the south line of the lot, 4 feet from the east line and steeple must face the east The church was to be painted light gray, trimmed with dark gray and the roof of the steeple was to be dark red.

Then, the time came for denominational affiliation. It was learned they could not be served by a Lutheran minister as the Missouri Synod would not accept their constitution. The Church Baord invited the Evangelical Synod of North America to send ministers since that group was willing to accept their constitution.

Rev. Hammer became the first permanent minister with an annual salary of $250.00 on July 8, 1888. He taught the first confirmation class in 1889. During the summer months a church school was held in which the German language was taught as will as the catechism.

On October 13, 1901, the church was damaged by fire but not serious enough to force suspension of services.

Until 1910, the St. John's minister also served the Petersburg congregation.

In July of 1959, the name of the church was changed to St. Johns United Church of Christ.

In 1961, property was purchased from George Busch for the sum of $6,850.00 so that a new parsonage could be constructed.

In 1962, the Diamond Jubilee of the church was celebrated.

The old church records were written in German.

The Women's Guild, St. Johns Brotherhood and organizations for the younger people have had their place in filling many needs of the community.

On October 5, 1965, the St. John's United Church of Christ joined with the Presbyterian Church of Greenview to form one congregation. It was felt this union would better serve our Heavenly Father and the community.

Mrs. Edna Cline & Miss Margaret Dencker

Transcribed by:Betty Albert



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