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Our History


In 1884, the great missionary of the Northwest, Rev. H. Doering, planted the seeds for what would later become St. John Lutheran Church and School, Salem, Oregon.

At the close of 1898, or beginning of 1899, in connection with the Mission Board of the Oregon and Washington district, St. John Evangelical Church was founded.  The initial sanctuary was located on Center Street between 13th and 14th Streets in Salem.  Pastor H. Lossner was called to serve this group.

After his resignation due to age, Pastor Georg Engel was installed, May 13th, 1906, and the building was moved to the corner of 16th and A Street at the end of his tenure, mainly because of the need for the stabling of horses.

In 1910, Reverend H. W. Gross was called to serve, and the congregation experienced great growth.  The growing congregation relocated to the present site on 14th and Court. The new sanctuary was built in 1953, rededicated in 1961, and an expansion completed and dedicated in 1982.

Various pastors were called to serve St. John over the years: Walter G. Boss (1956-61), Remus C. Rein (1963-69), L. Dean Hempelmann (1970-78), Frederick Niedner, Sr. (1978-85), Dale Koehneke (1977-96), Ron Hues (1986-89), John Luttmann (1997-2007), Langdon Reinke (2008-2019), Terry Merrill (2019-2023) and Harry Stratton (2023-present)


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