You’re invited to join us for a “backstage tour” of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is today considered the “mother” of Erie’s other Lutheran churches. The parish was organized in 1808 and first served by traveling missionaries. It was formally recognized in 1835, and the 100-member congregation held their services in neighborhood schoolhouses. In 1836, a frame structure was built on the site of the present church, and the first recorded communion services were held in November 1839 by Rev. Michael Kuchler, founder of the Lutheran congregations in Fairview, Girard, and McKean.
St. John’s Lutheran had, and continues to have, a strong German congregation. Services were offered in German through the 1940s.
The church building we’ll tour was built in 1861 and expanded in 1894, and then again in 1897. It features one of the oldest Erie-made pipe organs still in use in our community.