St. Johnís UMC
History of St. Johnís United Methodist Church
Historical records show that as early as 1843 Methodist
services were conducted in Marrs Township (Posey County,
Indiana) as a part of the Mt. Vernon Circuit, of which St. Peterís
and St. Paulís were a part. Early records show that in the early
fifties, services were conducted in an abandoned English
Methodist Church and schoolhouse which stood where the
Caborn School now stands.
During the administration of Reverend Jacob Bockstahler
this building St. Johnís Church became a reality. In the spring of
1887, the conference authorized the purchase of ground for the
erection of a church and appointed Peter Martin, William Seifert,
and Ernst Boberg as the Board of Trustees to have charge of this project. The church building
was erected during the summer and fall by Mr. Charles Sander and was dedicated during the fall
The Epworth League was organized in 1894. A short time later in 1895 the St. Johnís
Cemetery was plotted as it is today. There was an ornamental iron fence across the front of the
cemetery. Midway in this fence was a tall iron arch bearing the name St. Johnís Cemetery. The
first bodies that were buried there were twins born to Mr. and Mrs. John Waltz in May 1897.
The cemetery is now operated as a separate entity and is controlled by a board who operate it
under a policy of perpetual care.
In 1906 the Caborn Church was taken out of the Marrs Circuit and established as a
separate charge. A new parsonage was erected and Guster Maag was sent as pastor. The
parsonage was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1930 and the present parsonage was erected
during the summer of that year.
Sunday School was organized at the time of the church building and Henry Martin was
selected as its first superintendent. The Ladies Aid was one of the early societies of the church,
functioning under the name of the Womenís Society of Christian Service.
The sermons were preached in the German language until the event of the first World
War when the language use was discontinued. The church was first lighted by kerosene lamps
which sat on metal brackets that were fastened to the window frames. These were followed by a
system of carbide gas lights. Later a Delco generator and glass battery assembly was purchased
and the church was wired for electricity. In 1937, when the electric power line was installed
along Caborn Road, the church was connected to that electric service.
The church was heated by two wood and coal burning potbellied stoves, one in front and
the other in the rear of the building. Then a coal burning furnace was purchased and pipes
installed for heating the sanctuary. Later this furnace was replaced by an oil-burning furnace.
The first music was furnished by a pump organ. Later when a piano was bought, the
organ was moved into the parsonage. A Menís Sunday School class met each Sunday in the
parsonage. This organ was lost in the parsonage fire in 1930. The present Hammond organ was
purchased on December 15, 1954 and is still used for all services.
In July 1934, at the conclusion of the funeral of Mrs. Fred Seifert, the floor in front of the
altar fell down. Since there was no basement yet, the floor did not fall far and no one was
injured. The casket had to be carried out the east door. Restrooms and an entrance on the north
side were then constructed when the basement was built.