A Short Congregational History

1912 church

In 1882, St. John Lutheran Church was organized and began its ministry near Royal by sixteen German immigrant families from Ostfriesland, Germany. The congregation soon outgrew the first two wooden country churches, so with great effort in 1912, a large Gothic style brick church was built.

In 1927, by a narrow margin, the congregation voted to move the church to the village of Royal. The following year, it was torn down piece by piece, transported to Royal, and rebuilt at the present location. There is an historical marker one mile west and one-half mile north of Royal to commemorate where the original churches stood.

Pastoral leadership was provided by Pastor O.E. Doesken for 27 years. It was during this time that the education unit was added which included a new enclosed front entrance and eighteen new classrooms. In 1985, another building project was undertaken. A new entrance on the east side of the church, including an elevator for the handicapped, was built.

Our current baptized membership is 824 with the Reverend Jay Johnson serving as pastor.


1882 church