The Press Newspaper
St. John Lutheran celebrating 125 Years
On Sunday, April 7, the church will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its inception in 1888. On April 8 of that year, the St. John parish first known by the German name “Evangelische – Lutherische St, Johannes Gemeinde” was organized by 24 charter members under the leadership of the Rev. Samuel Kusthardt.
On Nov. 5, 1888, a frame building constructed using material and labor largely donated by its members was dedicated. Just over two months after the dedication, fire completely destroyed the building. However, the members were not discouraged, as even with their humble means, they began the construction of a brick building that very spring.
In October of that year, less than 12 months after the dedication of the original church, the new brick building was dedicated. The structure served as the church's home until it moved into its present sanctuary less than a mile away in 1967. German services were held every Sunday until 1933, when they began to be held only once per month; they were eliminated completely in the early 1940s.
The church was initially a member of the Iowa Synod, but voted to remain independent when the Iowa, Ohio and Buffalo synods merged. It joined the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1946 as part of its Michigan District and remained so until 1988, when it became part of the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Synod Bishop Marcus Lohrmann will be officiating at the April 7 services.
The church began its celebration in January with a chili cook-off sponsored by its youth group, and entertained the Oak Harbor High School Mixed Choir in February. Other events planned as part of the anniversary festivities include a picnic following worship services with afternoon activities planned for children and adults on June 30 and the finale on Oct. 13, at which time former pastors and confirmation class alumni will be invited to reminisce with the congregation.
The Kiwanis will present scholarships to five students from local high schools – Alexa Wegman (Northwood), Trevor Walsh (Lake), Talia Ulrich, (Waite), Brandy Pelfrey (Clay) and Katherine Siebenaller (Cardinal Stritch).
All five of the students have excelled in the classroom while also spending time helping in their community.
The club will also present the Hansen Award to Clay High School teacher Dennis Slotnick for his outstanding contribution to the community and his years of service in the teaching profession.
The prize package includes a limo ride to and from the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, $500 in casino chips, and dinner for four at the Epic Buffet, located in the casino. There will also be cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50 for the second-, third- and fourth-place winners, respectively.
Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be picked up at any Ottawa County Senior Center. Winners will be announced at the Spring Senior Day at Camp Perry Wednesday, May 8. For more information, call 419-798-4101.
Fedor was recognized for her work in protecting Ohio’s children, most notably the sponsorship of the “Safe Harbor” bill (HB 262) last session which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
HB 262 takes a victim-centered approach, requiring that all law enforcement be trained to recognize and deal with trafficking as a part of their peace officer training. The bill also increases penalties for trafficking.
Fedor expects to introduce new legislation to address trafficking issues this session. She has several additions in mind including harsher penalties for the solicitation of minors.
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