BUILDING A FIRM FOUNDATION
IN THE BEGINNING
St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingomar, Ohio had its beginning on March 18, 1891. On that date, a small group of Lutherans met at the home of D.W. Summers. This group decided to organize a Lutheran congregation and to worship in an abandoned old red brick Methodist Church (picture shown) located on the hill across the road from the little cemetery about a half-mile south of Ingomar. Shortly after this, the building was rented and services were held. The records show that 24 persons communed on May 17, 1891 at a service conducted by the Rev. G.C. Smith, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Lewisburg, Ohio. For a number of years the congregation was loosely associated in a parish with Salem Lutheran Church of Lewisburg by whose pastors it was served.
At a meeting of the congregation on September 16, 1894 action was taken to purchase the Methodist Church property for $250.
BUILDING THE CHURCH AT INGOMAR
Early Spring, 1905, the basement was dug by hand by members and friends. The cornerstone was laid on August 27, 1905. During 1906, the auditorium of the present nave was constructed. It is 36 feet wide and 56 feet long. Contractor was B. C. Crouse. The cost was $5,400. On December 16, dedication services were officiated over by the Reverend V. V. Christy, pastor at Ellerton and president of the District Synod of Ohio. Membership was 32. Indebtedness, $750.
AN INDEPENDENT PARISH
St. John Lutheran Church of Ingomar decided to become self-supporting and called the Reverend H. F. Hamburger, who had served the parish since 1946, as its full time pastor. The second set of front doors were added to the church building around this time.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Members completed a number of improvements for the 50th Anniversary. A roof was added to the church tower, a new roof was placed on the church as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. R.O Klepinger, the church was redecorated, new lighting fixtures were installed as a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Spitler by their children, and anew pipe organ was placed in the church. As of January 1, 1954, church membership was 267 Baptized, 187 Confirmed, and 164 Communing.
CONSTRUCTION & COMPLETION OF PARISH HALL
July 1958: Executive Building Committee members are chosen and sub-committees named.
August 1958: Congregation gave the approval to begin plans for Parish Education Building.
October 1958: Building needs submitted to members for their examination.
November 20, 1958: “Kick-Off” banquet at the Twin Valley Rod and Gun Club.
December. 1958: William Daily, an architect, commissioned to draw preliminary plans for the building.
April 12, 1959: Congregation approved preliminary plans.
June 29, 1959: Church council approved blue prints.
July 19, 1959: Congregation approved cost of erecting the building and groundbreaking services were held.
September 27, 1959: Cornerstone was laid.
April 3, 1960: Parish Education Building is dedicated to the glory of God. Dedication week is April 3-10.
In 1974, a canopy is added to the front of the church building. Also, bells, one and one-half octaves, were purchased from Trinity Lutheran Church in Brookville. Later another half octave was added.
In 1982, a gable roof put on Parish Hall replacing the flat roof. Butch Spitler and Earl Hall guided this project. in addition, ceiling fans were installed in the sanctuary.
PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED
15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Dedication of Parish Hall Activities
THE WILLING WORKERS
Feeling that they wanted to have an active part in the spreading of God's Word and wanting to help in the building of their church the women of the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ingomar organized the Willing Workers Missionary Society on January 21, 1904, as a combined Ladies Aid and Missionary Society. There were 17 charter members.
The members worked hard in helping to build St. John Church to provide contributions and in performing actual labor when the church was built.
Pictured: First row left to right- Ida Kabler Kurtz, Russa Gregg, Ethel Busch, Mamie Klepinger, Orpha Etter
Second row-Myrtle Summers, Allie Bake, Laura Wachtel, Mae Glander and son Allen, Emma Guntle, Laura Ulrich, Virgie Gregg, and Daisy Summers
Click on the picture to view the list of charter members.
Front Row (left to right) - Laura Stroup, Mary Lucinda (Albaugh) Barton, Myrtle (Wachtel) Summers; Middle Row – Jane Summers, Sarah Ann Rebecca “Sally” (Gardner) Wachtel, Eliza Gephart; Top Row—Eva Gephart, Ida Kabler, Hester Summers, Mrs. Clyde Summers ?, Emma Ludy, Iva Ludy and Fannie Spitler
The Congregation & Willing Workers
circa early 1900's
Some of the Willing Workers pictured include Eva Gephart and three children, Laura Wachtel, Sally Wachtel, Ida Kabler, Iva Ludy, Mrs. Stroup, Ida Barton, Lucinda Barton, Mrs. George Ludy, Pauline Gephart, Winifred and Fred Gephart, Myrtle Summers, Jane Summers, Nettie Gephart, and Lee Summers.
Willing Workers Invitation
Invitation to attend 50th Anniversary of Willing Workers
Click on the picture to view the 50th Anniversary Service Bulletin.
Click on picture to view article about the Willing Workers Golden Anniversary.
Willing Workers Still Working
undated newspaper picture
Left: Lola Paullus, Right: Mamie Wachtel
Willing Workers Quilt
St. John Lutheran purchased through an auction in 2015, a handmade quilt by the Willing Workers from St. John, with the financial generosity of our members. Right away there was no question that the quilt was of great importance to the history of the church and many of our current members and their families!
The quilt was constructed in 1923, with the history of the quilt researched and documented in our records. If you would like to view the names that are on the quilt please click the picture.