St. John's Church CornerstoneIn early 1885, two German settlers met with Pastor Reinhold Lange from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Emden and asked if he would hold services at Hartsburg, Illinois. Pastor Lange agreed and St. John’s Lutheran Church was formed. The constitution was adopted on June 28, 1885 by a charter membership of 11 people.

By 1889 the congregation had grown to 63 families and plans were made to build a church. A small frame church was erected in the southwest part of Hartsburg. Early services were conducted in both German and English.

The present church building was erected in 1926, and the parsonage next door was completed in 1959. In celebration of its 75th anniversary the church was redecorated in 1960. In 1987 St. John’s became a member of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

June 2010 marked the 125th anniversary of St. John’s. The church was repaired and redecorated thanks to the building and legacy funds and donations from past and present members.