Our First Church
In 1916 a group of Lutherans in and around Thrall asked Rev. A.E. Hartmann, pastor of St Paul Lutheran Church of Taylor to serve them and to look into the possibilities of organizing a congregation in Thrall. On June 25, 1917, St. John Lutheran Church of Thrall was organized.
Rev. Theo Krienke Feb. 5, 1922-Feb. 1930 First installed full time pastor.
Pastor S.A. Bogish 1930-1933. From West Texas served until fall 1933 when he became ill and his brother-in-law helped Rev. Wilson Hill.
Pastor A.E. Rode 1934 served our church during the summer months, he was assisted by Pastor L.D. Braun, a student of theology and a son of the St. John Congregation.
The first resident pastor of the congregation was installed in September of 1934. He was Rev.Willard Ander. He served the congregation until 1946.
This period (1934-1946) may be characterized as period of growth and expansion. There was a steady increase in membership. A new constitution was adopted. Physical improvement were as follows:
By 1946 the membership had grown to 189 members and 258 baptized members.
On July 7, 1946 Pastor E. Herber was installed as the sixth pastor of St. John Lutheran Church. He served for 22 years. During this time the following were constructed:
In 1949 Pastor Herber reported average attendance in church was 210 and Sunday School was 250.
On December 30, 1956 the congregation accepted a bid on the New Church. The cost of the building and furnishings would be around $65,000. They started building in February 1957 and dedicated it on November 3, 1957.
In 1965 the congregation authorized the building of the Educational Center for
Pastor Herber retired 1968.
On March 2, 1987 the Congregations extended a called Pastor Robert Sauer. In November of 1987 the congregation voted to study the new parsonage issue. In March 1989 a voted to accept the bid of $67,541 for a New Parsonage, which today is a proud and modern addition to our church. Also during this time the congregations:
Pastor Sauer retired in 2001
Pastor Larry Handeland 2002-2004
During this time the church add a new public address system and a "Prayer Chain". Pastor Handeland resigned on June 13, 2004.
Pastor Walter Miller was Interim during 2001, 2002 and 2004. Pastor Miller has always been a invaluable part of St John Lutheran as an interim and mentor.
In November of 2004, Jon Bielfeldt was hired as Vicar at St. John Lutheran Church. Vicar Jon enrolled in the Synod Theological Education in Emerging Ministry Program.
After completing his studies, he was ordained on August 13, 2006. The congregation voted unanimously to call him as a new pastor. The following have been added during this time: