St. John's Lutheran Church Edford Township
The first Lutheran services held in Edford Township were conducted by Rev. C.A. Mennicke of Rock Island in the early 1860's. Services were then held at intervals of two or three weeks in the Edford Center Schoolhouse, later known as the Hickory Grove School, Dist. 151.
In the year of our Lord 1869, on Septuagesima Sunday, January 24, several Lutherans assembled in Edford under the leadership of Rev. F. Horn of Geneseo, organized the Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Congregation of Edford Township, Henry County, Illinois.
In February 1872 ground was donated by Mr. Wm. Klewin, plus 4 additional acres were purchased for the building of St. John's Lutheran Church in Edford Township, Geneseo, Illinois.
In 1895 it became necessary to enlarge the church building. An addition, 16' x 24', was added to the north end of the church.
November 1925 it was resolved to remodel the church to provided adequate meeting rooms. A basement was dug, the church was remodeled inside and out, and art glass windows installed. The work was completed in late December.
In 1957, a building plan was presented to the congregation by the building committee to add on to the church to the west, and to remodel the existing structure. The final building plan decided upon, was an addition to the west of the present church to seat 300 persons, with the present church to be remodeled into narthex which would provide overflow seating for 100 persons. There would be a total of 15 Sunday School rooms, and a banquet room for 200 persons. Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new church were held April 5, 1959, and the cornerstone was laid around November 1, 1959. On June 12, 1960, the church was dedicated, and on June 19 the educational facilities were dedicated at special services.
On March 31, 2009 St. John's endured a devastating fire which resulted in the total destruction of the building. A congregational meeting several weeks later resulted in a unanimous vote to rebuild. With the guidance from our Heavenly Father and help from Laborers for Christ, congregation, community, and Lutheran Church Extension Fund a new place of worship became a reality. June 2, 2012 was a glorious day as members present and past, family and friends gathered to dedicate this wonderful building. Building on Christ our Cornerstone was the theme ever before us during this time and continues to be our focus as we serve this community.
The year 2019 A. D. marked 150 years of God’s grace, mercy and blessings in this place. Throughout the year we remembered the desire our forefathers had for a place to worship where they could hear God’s Word, their desire to share the Good News of Christ salvation for all, and the call to love their neighbor. St. John’s has been this place. By God’s grace may we willingly, faithfully, and obediently continue in their footsteps for many years to come.
Rev. Timothy Nerud