Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in Nazareth as a Union Church in 1859. The lot on which the church was built was acquired from Solomon Schaefer. The Lutheran and Reformed Congregations shared the original building, which was erected on the site of St. John’s present church edifice. The original church building was dedicated October 29th and 30th, 1859. Between 1902 and 1905, the agreement between the Lutheran congregation and Reformed congregation was dissolved. On April 8, 1905 Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church became a separate parish.
The church edifice in which we now worship was dedicated to the Glory and Honor of Almighty God on September 25, 1910. The parsonage was erected in 1924. Due to increased membership, in 1959 ground was broken for a new building which houses the Fellowship Hall, Kitchen, Church Offices, and Parlor. Beneath the Fellowship Hall, Junior and Intermediate Sunday School departments were constructed to alleviate the crowded conditions of the old Sunday School. This building was dedicated October 15, 1961.
Renovations were continued to the Sunday School facilities, the church Nave was repainted, carpeting was installed, pews were refinished, and new Sanctuary furnishings were added, including a beautifully carved reredos. On September 22, 1968 these renovations were dedicated.
In January 1978 an organ rebuilding and church renovations project was begun. The Moller Organ, which was installed in 1939, was rebuilt and greatly expanded from 12 ranks to 45 ranks of pipe. Along with the rebuilding of the organ, a Church Council room, Pastors office, Choir Room, and Women’s Robing room were created in the church. The entire project was dedicated to the Glory of God on March 12, 1978.
The Sanctuary, Shepherd’s Room, Fellowship Hall, Kitchen and all Sunday School rooms were refurbished through the 1990 R&R program. The Miller Parking Lot was established in April 2002.
We all take pride in this beautiful church in which we gather to worship. But more than the brick edifice built by our forefathers are the ministries provided and the pastoral leadership given to this congregation for over 150 years. Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is “Like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither.” (Psalm 1:3) Over the fourteen decades since the church was established, St. John’s roots spread deep into the limestone rich earth and its trunk grew strong. The congregation flourished under the nurturing of eleven dedicated and gifted pastors who encouraged the laity to develop leadership skills. We give thanks to God for our rich history, our magnificent building, and the legacy of faith handed down to us by those who have gone before us. We also give thanks for our life together today at St. John’s.
St. John’s has more than 800 members. Members serve God through participation in worship services, Bible study and by reaching out to those in the congregation, the community and the world. St. John’s is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America within the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, composed of 300 congregations in the eastern areas above Philadelphia.