STRINGTOWN, Mo. — Two special services will mark the 150th anniversary of St. John's Lutheran Church, Stringtown, on July 16.
Morning services at 10 a.m. will be followed by a special meal, open to the community.
At 2 p.m., an afternoon service will celebrate the church's heritage.
The celebration will continue through the year with smaller events.
"We believe it's important to mark an anniversary like this because a congregation celebrates more than just the human side of our life together in church," the Rev. Jacob Mueller said. "This congregation has existed for 150 years by God's grace as his hospital for man's soul in this place. In celebrating our history, we celebrate and make known what God has done for us."
Reflecting over the first 150 years provides a sense of hope for the future, he said.
St. John's was founded in 1867 by members who had a theological disagreement, when St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Lohman, left the original Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
"The congregation has a colorful history," Mueller said.
Church researchers discovered early church minutes in German.
At one time, St. John's had its own parochial school, located where a pavilion now stands near the cemetery.
Mueller has been pastor at St. John's for about four years, following his graduation from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He succeeded the Rev. Warren Brandt, who had pastored there for 28 years.
"(God) has planted our congregation in Stringtown so that we might proclaim the Gospel to the people who live in our community," Mueller said.