Our History

history_washington_stSt. John’s Lutheran Church was organized on February 7, 1896, and was known as the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oregon. Our first home was a white framed building on Washington Street where the 40 original members worshipped. In 1934, our name was changed to St. John’s Lutheran Church. Services continued to be in Danish until 1936.











history_1952_washstreetIn June 1949 it was decided to build a new, bigger church on the same site. Services were held in the Oregon Community Building for the next two years. The new church was completed in 1952. It still stands on Washington Street today.




history_education_building2In 1975, plans were made to build a new church building and education unit on the five acre East Netherwood property. The education unit was completed in 1976. During the next five years, the Sunday school children and staff were bussed to the new building while worship services continued to be held at the Washington Street church.




history_education_buildingConstruction began on the new church sanctuary in 1981 and it was dedicated in 1982. In 2002 we built a new multi-purpose room, classrooms, and remodeled the office area and kitchen.




bell_historyOur cast-iron church bell was cast in 1877 and has rung in each of our Oregon-area church homes since 1903. It underwent a restoration in 1986.










St. John’s best-known community event is our annual Smorgasbord dinner. Each year, hundreds come to enjoy turkey and dressing, meatballs, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, lefse and many homebaked desserts. We have been hosting Smorgasbord every first Thursday in October since 1956. The proceeds support a variety of missions.