History of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church

German Lutheran immigrants move to Nebraska during the 1880s. About 1896, the homesteaders began meeting at the Christan and Emilie (Garska) Scherbarth soddie in Loup County for worship.

Our first church March 31, 1941

By 1904 Mrs. Scherbarth and the others had obtained the services of Rev. E. Malueg of Palmer. The Watestrats, Martens, Scherbarth, and Garska families were the original worshippers on Gracie Flats. They were often joined by Emma Goehring who would later become Mrs. Allen Mann. Rev. Malueg lived in Burwell for a time and also conducted a German day school in the Scherbarth boys' bedroom. Rev. Malueg was followed by the Rev. Monhart until sometime around 1908.

Rev. G. Boehnke of Mira Valley came to Burwell to hold services September 12, 1926, and helped organize the new congregation that would become St. John's- Burwell.

Old St. John's Inside

The group met in a rural schoolhouse, in private homes, and in other Burwell churches until the finally got a building of their own. The former Baptist Church of Elyria was purchased in 1940, dismantled, and brought to Burwell piece by piece and reassembled. It was dedicated March 31, 1941. How the members of our church loved the little church! In 1961 work begun on the current building, for our growing congregation. This church was dedicated November 8, 1964.

We started out dual parish was Peace at Sargent in 1964.

Our ladies aid begun around 1934. The Dorcas Society of St. John's was received into charter membership of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League of the Missouri Synod on July 23. 1943.
A mortgage burning ceremony was help for the church building on September 27, 1981. On June 17, 1982, the congergation purchased the former Ocse Johnson home at 727 H street as a parsonage. In May of 1986 we purchased the Mathauser property just east of the church. In the winter of 1991-1992 the interior was remodeled.

New Addition in 1998-  A former member of our church, Mrs. Bertha McKee, of Estern, NE left a generous bequest in her will in the 1990's. These funds were used to build a large addition to the fellowship hall in 1998.

From these humblest of beginnings, St. John's Burwell has continued to serve under God's constant presence and love.

Inside of the current church

Peace Sargent History

The first service was held in 1959 at the Rebekah Hall with Pastor Harold Lachmann officiating. Pastor Lachmann preached in Ord and Burwell on Sunday morning and then would travel to Sargent to preach on Sunday evenings. Sinner, Dunnbar, Ropers, Westbrook, Fees, Ford, Madsen, Spomer, Shipporeit, White and Lindberg were some of the several families that started out with the church . Ernest Shipporeit built a collapsible alter that could be put up for church services and then removed so that the Hall could serve other purposes. Once Rebekah Hall was being used so they moved the mobile alter to the funeral home to hold services.

In 1962, the current church was purchased and moved here from Litchfield. In 1963 the basement was dug and the church families started remodeling the inside. Pews were purchased from a church in Schuyler, Nebraska. Almost of all the work was done by volunteers of the parish. The very first church service held in the newly remodeled church was held on February 9, 1964 with Pastor Beckman from Merna. Once the church was up and going they became a dual parish with Burwell; meaning they share a pastor.

 The final church services were April 7, 2013.