Our History

 Church Timeline

  • April 8, 1888
    • St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in an upstairs room over Leonard Music Store on West Broad Street in Statesville. Eight people were enrolled as members and church officers were elected – Mrs. Vanda Cooper, Mr. M.J. Dietz, Mrs. M.J. Dietz, Mr. L.C. Dietz – Elder, Mrs. L.C. Dietz, Mr. E.A. Frye – Deacon and Secretary, Mr. J.S. Frye – Elder, Mrs. J.S. Frye.
    • The Rev. Daniel J. Settlemyre, pastor of Sharon and St. Martin’s Lutheran Churches, conducted the organizational meeting of the congregation which became a mission of the Tennessee Synod.
  • 1890 – The first building was completed on the corner of Front and Church (now Meeting) Streets.
  • January 8, 1891 – The first service was held in the new building.
    • Charter Members – Mrs. Vanda Cooper, Mr. L.C. Dietz, Mrs. L.C. Dietz, Mr. M.J. Dietz, Mrs. M.J. Dietz, Mr. R.O. Dietz, Mr. Baxter Frye, Mr. E.A. Frye, Mr. Eli Frye, Mrs. Eli Frye, Mr. Emmanuel Frye, Miss Ida Frye, Mr. J.S. Frye, Mrs. J.S. Frye, Miss Minnie Frye, Mr. John Frye, Mr. Silas Frye, Mr. L. Tate Hollar, Miss Effie Sowers, Mr. O.P. Sowers, Mrs. O.P. Sowers, Mr. O.P.A. Sowers, and Miss Rebekah Stevenson
  • 1920 – St. John’s purchased its first parsonage, located at 430 West Front Street.
  • March 1920 – St. John’s became a member of the North Carolina Synod.
  • 1922 – The second church building was constructed on the corner of West Front and Mulberry Streets.
  • January 5, 1923 – The first service was held in the new building with an organ recital by Rob Roy Peery.
  • January 7, 1923 – The formal opening service was held with messages delivered by Dr. E.J. Sox and Dr. F.C. Longacre.
  • May 27, 1956 – The last service was held in the building on the corner of West Front and Mulberry Streets and the property was sold to the Catholic Church.
  • June 3, 1956 – The church began holding services at Mitchell College while the new building at 740 North Center Street was constructed.
  • August 11, 1957 – The first service was held in the current building.
  • 1960 – The second parsonage was purchased at 874 Woodland Road.
  • 1966 – The church and educational building were air-conditioned. The educational building was expanded to include a kitchen and fellowship hall with a stage.
  • 1972 – A new parsonage was purchased at 302 Starmount Drive. An additional six acres adjacent to the church property was purchased from the T.L. Goode family, bringing the property to a total of eleven acres.
  • August 1979 – The current Schantz piper organ, which was built in Orrville, Ohio, was installed. The organ contains 28 ranks of pipes, with four divisions – Great, Swell, Positiv and Pedal, with a three-manual console. At this time the chancel was renovated, and new carpet was installed in the nave and chancel.
  • August 15, 1982 – During St. John’s 94th anniversary service a sanctuary lamp was dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Mr. Paul Monroe Barger.
  • 1986 – The church library was renovated and doubled in size in order to include a section for the church archives.
  • April 8, 1988 – St. John’s celebrated its Centennial Anniversary with over 500 members and former members in attendance. A “Centennial Capsule” was buried, with the hope of opening it in 2088.
  • July 15, 1990 – St. John’s began its first live broadcast of the weekly worship service. Carl Litaker began taping the services in 1981, but they were aired a week later via the city’s local cable service.
  • 1993 – The St. John’s Endowment Fund was established. To date over $90,000 has been distributed in community outreach, mission work, educational support, and church projects.
  • 1994 – St. John’s Kindergarten was started, and the St. John’s Preschool grew out of this.
  • August 2010 – The St. John’s congregation voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and to affiliate with the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The required second vote was cast in the affirmative in December 2010. The official release date from the ELCA was March 11, 2011.

Thank you to Melvin S. Troutman and Anne C. Whiteside for compiling the church’s history in 2013.

Construction of the current church building at 740 North Center Street in 1957, courtesy of the Iredell County Public Library

Pastors of St. John’s

  • 1888 – 1895 Rev. Daniel J. Settlemyre
  • 1895 – 1898 Rev. William Pinckney Cline and Rev. Jason Chrysostom Moser (Supply)
  • 1898 – 1905 Rev. William Leo Darr
  • 1905 – 1916 Rev. William Alonzo Lutz
  • 1916 – 1919 Rev. Alred Riley Beck D.D.
  • 1920 – 1924 Rev. Oscar Wrey Aderholdt, Sr. D.D.

  • 1924 – 1929 Rev. James David Kinard
  • 1930 – 1945 Rev. J. Lewis Thornburg
  • 1945 – 1971 Rev. John Kerr Lasley, D.D.
  • 1971 – 1972 Rev. Roy Baxter Setzer, Sr. (Interim)
  • 1972 – 1989 Rev. Hoyle Lee Whiteside, S.T.M., D.D.
  • 1989 – 1990 Rev. Harry David Hawthorne, S.T.M., D.D. (Interim)
  • 1990 – 2007 Rev. Thomas Wright Corbell
  • 2007 – 2009 Rev. Charles Peter Setzer, D.D. (Interim)
  • 2009 – 2011 Rev. John Royal Jones, III
  • 2011 – 2012 Rev. Ron Oravitz (Interim)
  • 2012 – 2013 Rev. Timothy A. Bean, S.T.S.
  • 2013 – present Rev. Ernest B. Sheldon

Rev. Daniel J. Settlemyre, St. John’s first pastor

A church timeline and oil paintings of each of St. John’s pastors can be viewed in the hallway between the education building and the fellowship hall.

Our Mission & Vision

St. John's is a Christ-Centered, Mission-Driven Community.

We believe that the mission of the Church is to preach the Gospel and to make disciples for Christ. We believe that making disciples — in our congregations, in our communities and nations, and around the world — must be a priority of the Church in the present age.