St. John’s Lutheran Church is located in the small rural community of Randolph, Nebraska. In its earliest days, church services were held in family homes, the schoolhouse, or various businesses, and were officiated by Pastor Fred Hefner.
The congregation called its first pastor, Rev. Conrad Poeckler, in 1897, and it officially organized as St. John’s Lutheran Church in 1898. The congregation began construction of our first church home that same year on the same lot on which it stands today.
The early 1900’s saw the formation of many small Lutheran congregations in the area and many shared pastoral ministries.
From 1902-1907, St. John’s was served by Pastor O.E. Matuschka, and later, Pastor Frederick Rabe. In 1908, Pastor E.H. Gabriel was called to serve St. John’s along with the newly incorporated Hope Lutheran Church in nearby McLean, and was followed by Pastor D.H. Franzen from 1912- 1925.
In 1932, St. John’s called Pastor Harold Hoff. He is noted for serving St. John’s the longest of any pastor. Both he and Mrs. Hoff were musically talented, and it was during their service at St. John’s that the love of music flourished and became a cornerstone of our congregation. Pastor Hoff also organized a strong youth ministry, including both the first Sunday school and Luther League, another cornerstone in our ministry. During Pastor Hoff’s time at St. John’s, the baptized membership grew to over 500, and in 1942 St. John’s began building what is now our present church home.
Pastor David Rath followed in 1954 , and both our church and community were thriving in the post World War II years. In 1957, Hope Lutheran Church closed its doors and many of its members joined the congregation of St. John’s. In the late 1950’s, the congregation built our present parsonage. Pastor Robert Kloth served upon Pastor Rath’s leaving.
During much of the 1960’s and 70’s, St. John’s was served by Pastor Walter Rossbach. St. John’s added an education and fellowship wing during this time. In 1976, Pastor Ivan Amman was called, and greater fellowship opportunities within the congregation and an ecumenical community spirit became cornerstones of our ministry.
Pastor Scott McVey-McCluskey was called in 1993.
In 1998, St. John’s celebrated 100 years! Our recent history includes remodeling the sanctuary, office space, food pantry, and parsonage.
In 2012, St. John’s celebrated with the whole community Randolph’s 125th anniversary.
In recent years, St. John’s has been served by Pastor Marcille Jensen, Pastor Keith Menter, and Pastor Derrick Fallon.