St. Johnís Lutheran Church celebrates 100 years

Friday, August 23, 2019
Pastors leave the sanctuary of St. Johnís Lutheran Church on Aug. 4 at the conclusion of services marking the churchís centennial. Contributed photo

Past pastors, catered meal highlight festivities

St. John's Lutheran Church in Monett celebrated its centennial on Aug. 4, with past pastors attending.

Rev. W. Mart Thompson, who served as the church's pastor from 1992 to 2000, preached at the morning worship service. Other former St. Johnís pastors joining that day were Rev. James Schnackenberg and Rev. Merwin Dessens.

Thompson is now an associate professor of practical theology at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. During Thompson's tenure in Monett, the congregation relocated from Eighth and Park to its current location on H Highway.

In his sermon, Thompson reminded the congregation that the church had its beginning in the home of the Kirchner family of Monett.

"Homes continue to be the primary places where families are shaped by Godís word and his Spirit," he said.

On Saturday evening, Aug. 3, St. Johnís hosted an evening reception at the Monett Historical Museum, inviting its circuit pastors and churches as well as local civic leaders. Carolin Hopkins prepared a video slide show utilizing pictures submitted by members of St. Johnís. Many people watched and recalled stories of those on the screens. St. Johnís Ruth Circle provided food and drink, and more than 100 people came through the doors that evening. A congratulatory letter signed by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt was noted.

The sanctuary was full of St. Johnís members and guests for the Anniversary Service on Aug. 4. A concert coordinated by St. Johnís organist, John Cook, preceded the service. Frank Shirley played the trumpet, Liz Cook played the clarinet. A small choir of St. Johnís members sang a motet.

During the 18 months prior to the service, the committee at St. Johnís worked faithfully to plan and coordinate events. The church undertook a significant remodeling project in preparation for the anniversary, replacing flooring, reupholstering pews, repainting, and purchasing new furniture for the narthex. Because of the congregationís generosity, the anniversary meal after the service was able to be provided at no cost to the guests.

Tim and Patty Osterloh catered the meal and provided the main course, sides, and desserts for more than 180 diners. Toward the end of the meal John Bremer led the guests to recognize the senior members of St. Johnís and the veterans. He also gave members the opportunity to remember those family and friends who have gone ahead to receive their eternal inheritance.