This church was incorporated under the name of "Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John, in the village of Syracuse," January 1, 1840, with about forty families as members. Mission services had been held about two years earlier in the First Presbyterian church. The following were chosen trustees: Louis Yehling, Frederick Strangeman, Henry Lammert and George Koenig; the elders and deacons were George Lupp, John Miller, Mr. Schneider, Frederick Hess, John Yehling and Philip Zahn. The first church edifice was erected in 1841 on the site of the present church; this was burned December 28, 1856, and was rebuilt in the next year at a cost of about $12,000. Trouble arose in this church during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Rechenberg over his refusal to confirm a certain boy, and ten families seceded and with others organized the St. Peter's Evangelical church in the fall of 1843. On the death of Rev. Mr. Weiskotten in 1863, Rev. Charles Steinhauer was elected pastor, but was refused admittance to the church by the trustees. Mr. Steinhauer preached the next Sunday from the church steps, and a week later, with about eighty families, seceded and organized the Evangelical Lutheran Zion's church. In 1879 Rev. Mr. Koenig introduced the liturgy of the Lutheran Church after some difficulty, which had not theretofore been observed in the churches of that denomination in the city. This, with other minor difficulties, caused the withdrawal of about twenty-five families. Trouble again arose in 1883, under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Nicum, which ended with calling the police into the building to preserve order at the annual election on December 18. This election was followed by long litigation, which resulted favorably to the faction who supported pastor Nicum, and as a consequence about sixty families seceded from the church and organized St. Mark's church, January 1, 1885.
Submitted 17 July 1998