Church History

As we look back at the humble beginnings of St. John’s Lutheran Church, we reflect on the tremendous growth and abundant blessings it has experienced in its first 100 years. Beginning early in 1901, with 25 in attendance, worship was led in the German language by Rev. S. Hoernicke, visiting pastor from Immanuel Lutheran Church of Fresno. In the fall of 1902, Rev. R.M. Norden was placed as the first resident Lutheran Missionary in Bakersfield. The Rev. C.F. Bauer was sent to Bakersfield in the fall of 1903, and St. John’s was formally organized in January 1904 with 12 charter members.

20th & C Street
The first church property was purchased in 1904 and constructed in 1910. St. John’s worshiped here for 40 years.

4th & N Street
Rapid growth led to the purchase of a larger property in 1946. On June 11, 1950, the cornerstone was placed and the Sanctuary and Parish Hall were dedicated in 1951.

912 New Stine
In 1973, we moved to the growing, southwest area of Bakersfield. The preschool opened its doors in 1977.

New Stine Sanctuary
Our elementary school opened its doors in 1982. A new sanctuary was completed in 1984.

Bosch Pipe Organ
In 1990, worship was enhanced in the New Stine Sanctuary with a beautiful, tracker pipe organ, custom-made by Bosch in Germany.

Buena Vista Road
The Family Ministry Center on Buena Vista Road opened its doors in 1993. The school moved to permanent facilities at this campus in 1997. In 2003, St. John’s moved all its ministries to Buena Vista Road.

Children's Center
After breaking ground in 2004 for the new building, the St. John’s Children's Center opened with brand-new expanded programs for 180 young children in August 2005.

Worship Center and Sanctuary
On the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year of the century (10-10-2010), St. John's congregation began worshipping in our current facilities.  Our state of the art Worship Center has theater seating for 850, advanced audio/video capacity with five large screens (80' X 12'), and stage and backstage areas for major events such as concerts and conferences in addition to our Christmas dramas and contemporary Sunday worship. Our Sanctuary is an intimate setting with seating for 300, acoustically designed for organ, choir, orchestra, and congregational singing. Adorned with a beautiful Wolfram-designed cross, stained glass windows, and unique altar furnishings, it is a delightful room for our traditional worship, weddings, and choir and musical presentations.