From the ’50th Anniversary Booklet 1903-1953′, Courtesy from Phil Skabeikis member of the Richmond Hill Historical Society
It began shortly after the turn of the nineteenth century. A Long Island countryside was rapidly taking on the character of a suburban community and a little group of Missionary-minded Pastors in Brooklyn saw an opportunity. Early in 1903 an initial meeting was held to consider the founding of an English Lutheran Church in Richmond Hill. The will was mother to the act and on May 27th of that same year 56 people assembled in the old Arcanum Hall on Jamaica Ave. and 116th Street and officially organized the Congregation.
It was to be a full year after organization before St. John’s was to welcome her first regular Pastor. In June of 1904 the Reverend Allen Luther Banner, having recently graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, accepted the call of the new congregation. Under his guidance the Congregation proceeded immediately with plans for establishing a permanent House of Worship.
Accordingly, within a year, the present day site was secured and on September 2nd, 1906 the Congregation experienced the joy of worshipping for the first time in the basement of the Church Home that was yet to be. The full realization of this early goal came on April 7th, 1907 with the dedication of the completed structure. Saint John’s was on her way, bidding fair to fulfill the prophecy of one of the Dedication speakers that “this Church is destined to become one of the strongest and most effectual Congregations in all Queens.”
On May 27th, 1923 the Congregation celebrated its 20th Anniversary by Laying the Cornerstone for the new Church and on October 26th of the same year, the completed and beautifully designed Gothic structure was Dedicated.
In 2007 St. John’s merged with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – also of Richmond Hill and just after their 100th anniversary. The Metro NY Synod mismanaged the merger for their own financial gain and provided little support before or after the closing St. Paul’s.
The combined congregation recently celebrated their 109th anniversary.
The Organ – click here to see the details of our organ. Trinity Lutheran Church in Middle Village received the organ from St. Paul’s.
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