Our Vision

All are Welcome


Welcome to St. John Lutheran Church. We are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

As a church community, we will do our best to grow in faith by following Christs example; welcoming all just as Christ has welcomed us. We will serve in Christs name and connect people to God.

St John Lutheran Church is so much more than just a building. Our church is a place where all are welcomed and embraced. We are a Christian family inspired by the love of Jesus Christ and who give of our time and talents to make God’s house a place of worship. We are called to serve one another and to walk humbly with God. We are thankful to all of those who support our church with their gifts of service.

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Our History



St. John Lutheran Church was organized in 1912 by a group of Finnish people that lived in the community of Jennings, a thriving lumber town, not far from Lake City. From 1912 until 1920 they met regularly in their homes. By the early 1920’s the lumbering industry had all but died, but the Finns remained in Missaukee County. Through sacrifice and determination, a sum of $800 was raised and an offer made and accepted to purchase the old wooden Swedish church that was located in Jennings. It carefully made the seven mile trip to our present location in the spring of 1923. With the new sight came a new name, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lake City. Since the pastor serving the church traveled many miles, at times from as far away as Republic, Michigan, in the UP, formal services were infrequent. Sunday School was conducted regularly in the church or in the homes of members. In 1923, the first confirmation class was conducted by Rev. Kuusisto. There were about fifteen to twenty large families attending the church. The services were conducted in Finnish with the introduction of some English in the late 1940’s. In 1926, the building was placed upon a stone foundation and in 1930, the inside walls and ceiling were entirely refinished. In 1933, the church board sold land for a highway right of way to the State of Michigan for $25. As a result, half of the church building was sitting on the right of way. In 1964, St. John and Trinity Lutheran of Manton joined together to become a two-point parish. Rev. Herbert Amala was the first pastor to serve the joint parishes followed by Rev. Richard Nelson arriving in the summer of 1972. As the congregation of St. John grew, the old church was dismantled and a new church was built in 1979. St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church had a new home. The charter members of the congregation carreid items from the old church that would be used in the new church. On April 29, 1979, a wosrhip service was held that provided both settings, old and new. Precious memories of the old church were joined with hopes and dreams for the future. We continued to grow and ground was broken for a new sanctuary in the spring of 2004. The first sevice held in the new sactuary was Christmas Eve of that year. When entering the new sanctuary, one’s eyes are directed to the majestic cross that hangs over the altar. Our own members made the cross which is a symbol of faith and love. Shortly after the new sanctuary was completed, we started another building project, adding six classrooms and improving our church kitchen. Our house of worship has room for growth and the capacity to host weddings, dinners and fellowship gatherings. Following are some of the pastors that have faithfully served the congregation of St. John: Richard Bachman (1984-2009); John Mayer (2011-2013), Rosanne Anderson (2013-2017); Jean Smith (2017-2019/Shared); Russell Logston (2019-present) who is shared with the United Methodist Church of Lake City.