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St. John’s celebrates its big 150th

After 150 years, St. John’s Church in Biscay has a lot to celebrate. The church held a special polka service and lunch on Sunday, Sept. 13 for its 150th anniversary.
 
The church has a long history that began in 1865, when a congregation came together to form what was then called the First Lutheran Church and Society of Glendale. At that time, services were held in the home of Philip Block and then at a school just two miles from the current church building. 
 
The church finally arrived at its current location in 1867 or 1868. The first church building was constructed as a simple frame building, which was never painted. The building was later used as the church school house. It burned down in 1890.
 
The second church was built in 1883 on the same lot. This building, too, was destroyed; this time by a tornado on Aug. 20, 1904. 
 
Construction on a new church building began that same year and the church that currently stands was dedicated on Jan. 8, 1905. Though remodeling has occurred over the years, the third building has stood free from disaster since then.
 
As the physical structure changed, so did the method of service. When the church first began, all services were conducted in German. However, during World War I and into the 1930s, the services gradually changed to English. 
 
For more see the Sept. 16 print edition of The Chronicle.