St. John
Click above images to enlarge

Saint John's Lutheran Church
121 South Locust Street, NE corner of Church Street, Adrian - Lenawee County
Property Type church
Historic Use RELIGION/religious facility
Current Use RELIGION/religious facility
Style Gothic Revival
Architect/Builder C. F. Matthes
John C. Kaumeier
Pastor Steffan
Narrative Description St. John's Lutheran Church is a Gothic Revival structure, cruciform in plan, with red brick facades, limestone water table, and sandstone foundation. The roof is sheathed with grey asbestos shingle. As originally constructed in 1861, the church was a simple rectangle in plan with a partly projecting tower in the center of the narrow west front. Transepts were added in 1896. There is a five-sided apse at the rear or east end. The gable roof has a low, almost classical pitch. Directly above the principle entrance door on the front or east facade of the church is a limestone cross, flush with the brick surface, bearing the inscription "EV'G. LUTHERISCHE KIRCHE 1861." High up in the tower front above the cross is a wheel window with stained glass and wooden mullions. Brick buttress caps with stamped metal pinnacles rise from the four corners of the tower deck and are joined by a decorative railing. An octagonal belfry, now clad in aluminum siding, from which a spire once rose, surmounts the square brick tower.
Statement of Significance St. John's Lutheran Church is significant as a manifestation of the large migration of Germans to southern Michigan in the nineteenth century and, particularly, of the rapid development of the German protestant community in Adrian. The building is also notable as one of the oldest surviving-- and probably one of the first-- thoroughly Gothic Revival Lutheran church buildings in Michigan. Its interior contains a handsome blend of church fittings and decoration from the 1860s to the 1930s. The congregation of St. John's originated in the 1840s when German immigrants, largely from Bavaria, settled in the vicinity of Adrian. The congregation was formally organized in October of 1847 as the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Adrian Michigan. The present church was completed and dedicated in June of 1862. It continues to house the Lutheran community of Adrian.
Marker Name St. John's Lutheran Church
Marker Text ST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH The Reverend William Hattestaedt helped organize St. John's Lutheran Church in 1847. Until their first church was completed in 1849, the original congregation, fourteen German families, met in a church that belonged to the Episcopalians. Services were held every three to four weeks until 1850, when the Reverend Phillip J. Trautman was installed as the first full-time pastor. On July 1, 1861, the congregation laid the cornerstone for the present church. The structure was dedicated on June 29, 1862. It was enlarged in 1896. The handsome stained-glass windows depicting Bible stories were installed in 1914. Since its organization, St. John's Lutheran Church, the mother church of the denomination in Adrian, has held continuous services.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) Built 1861
Registry Type(s) 09/28/1982 Marker erected
12/27/1984 National Register listed
02/23/1981 State Register listed
Site ID# P23898