Lutheran Church was founded in 1881, even before its own town of Cherryville
was formed.St. John’s has thrived
during the years. The church
is not defined by buildings. It is the
people who gather there in worship and thanksgiving and then go out to serve
the Lord. It is the family of God. It is through these Spirit-filled people that
St. John’s has made its mark.
members from our church have chosen full time Christian vocations.The first son of the congregation to enter
the ministry, Dr D.P. Rudisill, is credited by our synod with organizing
Lutheran Churches in Chapel Hill and Sanford, NC while serving as student
pastor at UNCCH from 1942-1946 and working on his Ph.D. at Duke
University.Dr Forest Houser then
spearheaded a drive at St. John’s to raise money to buy a lot on which the
church at Chapel Hill was built.David
Crane grew up in St. John’s and, even though he married a Baptist and now
serves as a Baptist missionary in Africa, we still claim him.In 1993 Council voted to send him $2,000 in
support of his work there.Many lives
have been touched, and altered, by the other nine dedicated pastors and parish
A number of
our lay people have witnessed in outstanding ways in leadership roles in the
N.C. Synod and even on a national level.Perhaps when we have more time we can give credit where credit is due.
In our own
midst we have reached out to those who have experienced tragic losses or
long-term illnesses.St. John’s led fundraising
efforts for cancer victims.As early as
the turn of the century the women established a “sinking fund” to help the
needy.In 1927 the council voted to pay
a needy widow’s rent of $2.00.In 1968
Rev. Jack Smith led the congregation in a community wide effort for a
centralized location where those in need of food or clothing could find
help.It was known then as the Goodwill
Center.Today it is Cherryville Area
when there were so many refugees that had lost everything in WW II, St John’s
sponsored the resettlement of three families, 22 people, finding them
everything needed to start a new life – jobs, housing, clothing, means of
getting an education. Again in 1979,
after the Vietnam War another family was resettled here.Five members of that family were baptized
into the Christian faith.
education has always been a priority. Those pioneer Christians established a
Sunday School in 1889 and hosted a state wide Sunday School convention five
years later.Over the years various
children’s programs for education have existed – the Children’s Missionary
Society, the Light Brigade, Children of the Church, Weekday Church School,
Bible School, Confirmation classes, Rainbow Club.The congregation makes scholarships available
for high school seniors, as do several individual members.A Loan and Gift Fund makes funds available to
young people planning to go into full time ministry.Educational Institutions like Lenoir-Rhyne
and Southern Seminary have benefited from substantial gifts like the Carl
Augustus Rudisill Library at Lenoir-Rhyne and the Dewey F. Beam Endowed
Professorship and dorm at Southern Seminary.
this we see the hand of God at work.The
history of St John’s is really HIS-STORY.We are only HIS hands and HIS dedicated servants.
MOMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH BUILDING
in a granary on corner of Main and Oak Streets with 41 Charter members, under
the guidance of Rev. M.L. Little, pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
wooden structure built on large lot given by Henry Summitt on what is now
Church Street .
building is replaced with brick structure made possible by a bequest of $1500
in the will of S.S. Mauney.In 1920,
1936 and 1949 additions were made to this building to meet the needs of a
IN FAITH’ campaign was launched to raise funds for new sanctuary and education
service held in 1902 building and the building is demolished. The new sanctuary
is begun.Services are held atEast Elementary School for the next 18months
1963First worship service is held in new
sanctuary.Date is May 19, 1963.
1967New three-story educational building is
1985 The nave is renovated.
2013 The Rhyne-White Chapel is dedicated.
2014 The Agner Elevator is announced, as well as a renovated Dixon Kitchen.