In the summer of 1895, on a Sunday afternoon, eight Lutheran families of German extraction gathered together to hear the word of God in the home of Mr. William Samp in Beloit. This marked the beginning of St. John's Lutheran Church.
On October 18, 1896 the constitution was adopted, the name of the church was selected and church officers elected. The first church, a small white building distinguished by a high tower, was erected on the present site. The church was dedicated on August 15, 1897, and at 2:30 the same afternoon the first Pastor of St. Johns (Rev. Henry Studtmann) was installed. At that time, services were conducted in German. Services conducted in English began in 1909, and on January 12, 1947 regular services in the German language were conducted for the last time.
The building has gone through several structural changes since 1896, including the addition of a balcony, parish hall, Gothic style edifice, pipe organ, and multiple additions. The church interior has also undergone major changes.
1. There is only one God, who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is one in His unity and three in His person. Since God is infinite and eternal, He has always been, is now, and will forever be the author and Lord of all creation.
2. Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of the Father, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, has created all things and sustains all things.
3. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God they not only brought death upon themselves but brought death to all creation. God loves us, and so He created a way to save men and women from their sin and the eternal death which it warrants. Jesus Christ took on our human flesh, lived a sinless life, died in our place upon the Cross, and was raised from the dead as he foretold. We have some appreciation for the depth of God’s love when we consider how much it cost Him to rescue us from sin and death.
4. On the Last Day, Christ Jesus will judge all men and women of every time and place. Those who have believed in Jesus Christ and trusted in his death for the forgiveness of their sins will be given eternal life with God, and those who have not trusted in him will be lost to hell.
5. The message of the free gift of forgiveness and salvation for the sake of Christ Jesus who died in the place of sinners is the Gospel. In order for us to know this good news, God has given to us the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible, which is inerrant (without error) in all that it reports. The Holy Spirit creates faith in Christ Jesus within the hearts and minds of men and women as He causes them to believe what the Bible teaches. Christ Jesus has commanded Christians to make disciples of all nations by baptizing them in God’s name (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and teaching them God’s Word. In baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We do not withhold this precious gift from our infants and children - but lovingly join them to Christ. Jesus also commands that we share in his Supper, in which we receive into our mouths his own true body and blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness of our sins.
6. We are called by God to take seriously our Lord’s command for disciples to make disciples. We also have a responsibility to extend mercy and care to those in need. Our missional outreach and mercy ministry include our neighbors across the street and around the world.
St. John's Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
For those persons who are members of Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod congregations and have relocated here to the Beloit area you need only indicate to the pastor that you would like to transfer your membership to St. John's. After visiting with you (either in your home or in his study at the church), he will contact your pastor to arrange for a letter of membership transfer.
For those persons who are not already members of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, it will be our pastor's pleasure to offer you instruction in preparation for Christian baptism or to affirm your baptism. If you are already a baptized Christian the pastor will offer you instruction in what Christians in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod believe, teach, and confess before the world.
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated at St. John’s every Sunday in the confession and glad confidence that, as he says, our Lord Jesus gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but his very body and blood to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with him and with one another. Our Lord invites to his table those who trust his words, repent of all sin, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as he forgives and loves us, that they may show forth his death until he comes. Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive the Sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor or an elder. In addition to the members of this congregation, visitors from our sister LCMS congregations and other Lutheran denominations with whom we enjoy altar fellowship are invited to join us at the Lord’s Table. For further study, please see Matthew 5:23f.; 10:32f.; 18:15-35; 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34.