Downtown Dundee

St. John's Lutheran Church

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Our church celebrated its 100th Anniversary from October 1999 to October 2000. During this time, we had special events each month throughout the year. You can read about our Centennial Celebration and check out photos from the final weekend.

In 1897 the first services were held in the country school building near the Spring Hill Cemetery about one mile southwest of Dundee. The Rev. Eugene Melchert, pastor of the Lutheran Church at Ryan, conducted these services. By 1899 this group of people decided to build a church in Dundee. The building was constructed in 1900 and all formalities were completed on October 30, 1900. The official name given the congregation was "The German Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Congregation of Dundee, Delaware County, Iowa." The new congregation consisted of 18 adults and 32 children. German was the language used until converting to English during World War I.
The church today.
In 1904 a parsonage was built next to the church but it was sold and a new home was built north of the Dundee town park in 1979. The second parsonage has since been sold due to no full-time pastor at the church.

Many improvements have been made to the church over the years. A new educational unit was added to the east end, the basement was remodeled and a handicap ramp was added to the front for better access for those in wheelchairs.

In 1987 the American Lutheran Church voted to be merged with two other church bodies to become the new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Centennial Celebration (1999-2000)
October 1, 2000, marked the final day of the year-long 100th anniversary celebration. As the bell tolled calling us to worship the congregation sang "Lift High the Cross," our centennial theme, as the procession into the church was led by the acolytes followed by our pastor and seven former pastors. Each pastor in attendance had a part in the communion service. Worship closed with the singing of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" as the bell tolled 100 times.

Following the service a catered meal was served to all members and guests. Everyone gathered in the church after dinner for a program. The church historian related the history of St. John. Each pastor was introduced and those persons who had been confirmed by that pastor were asked to stand. Each pastor was then asked to reminisce about the years he or she served as pastor at St. John. Pastors who took part in this weekend were Paul Nordstrom, Paul Matthias, Howard Wolfgram, Kenneth Gamb, Ralph Marquardt, Charles Ager, Connie Kleingartner, Ronald Spears, Albert Hock, and Kevin Frey. Twin daughters of Pastor Engelhardt represented their father, who is deceased. Letters were read from former pastors Dean Hoferer, James Hughes, James Rushton, and the wife of Pastor Engelhardt. This finalized the celebration of 100 years of worship and community service at St. John with a vision of continued work and worship in the future.

The banner "Lift High the Cross" which was made by the Sunday School, was hung over the altar in the church after the first centennial observance and has remained there all year.

Photos from the final weekend of the centennial celebration are located here.

Pastors at St. John's (1900 thru 2001)
Eduard Haecker 1900 - 1903
Gustav Melchert 1903 - 1904
Prof. G. Zeilinger 1905
Carl Rembold 1906 - 1919
J.S. Seitzinger 1919 - 1920
William Mueller 1920 - 1922
G.E. Melchert 1922 - 1926
Werner Fritscehl 1927 - 1929
Fred Lutz 1929 - 1932
Henry Schiffler 1932 - 1934
Paul Matthias 1934 - 1940
G.D.A. Engelhardt 1940 - 1944
Carlton Rohr 1944 - 1947
James Hughes 1947 - 1950
Dean Hoferer 1951 - 1958
Howard Wolfgram 1959 - 1962
Charles Hart & James Adix
(Interim Pastors)
1962 - 1963
Kenneth Gamb 1963 - 1967
Ralph Marquardt 1967 - 1970
Ed Schlachtenhaufen
(Interim Pastor)
1970 - 1971
Charles Ager 1971 - 1976
Connie Kleingartner 1977 - 1980
Ronald Spears 1981 - 1988
Ted Eilders 1989
James Rushton 1989 - 1998
Albert Hock
(Interim Pastor)
1998 - 1999
Kevin Frey
(Interim Pastor)
1999 - 2000
Paul Nordstrom
(Interim Pastor)
2000 -

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This page created by Dundee's own
Lisa Guenther-Rhoades

Last Modified: 07/04/21