How we got here. 

Late in the year 1898, a few brave men of Fremont Township realized the great need of a Lutheran church south of Hemlock, because of the many hardships they had endured to get their children to confirmation school.

On February 7, 1899, this small group called a meeting to organize St. John Lutheran Church, with Professor Bode at Michigan Lutheran Seminary acting as chairman. Plans for the new school developed rapidly and on February 12, 1899, Professor Bode presented a constitution for approval at a congregation meeting. This constitution contained a clause that the children of this congregation should be instructed in God’s word, the catechism, and other useful subjects, and that the pastor himself should also be the teacher. This constitution was accepted by the congregation. On January 1, 1900, Pastor Franz Cares was called as pastor and teacher of the newly organized church.

In 1903, Pastor Cares founded Christ Lutheran Church in Swan Creek and served both parishes as pastor and teacher. Therefore, the pastor would teach school one year at Fremont and the following year at Swan Creek.

In 1910 one of the members of the St. John congregation donated an old house to be used as a school. The house was torn down by members of the congregation and the lumber brought to the present church site, and, without delay, a school house was erected. The dedication of the school was indeed a day of rejoicing after having held classes in the church or parsonage for 10 years. 

In the years before 1917, the state was not concerned as to where or how long children attended school, but at this time laws went into effect that all children must attend state approved schools until they reached the age of sixteen.

In the fall of 1918, Pastor Cares accepted a call to Frankenmuth, Michigan. St. John called Pastor Adolph Zuberbier of Arizona who accepted and began his pastorate here in the spring of 1919.

Pastor Zuberbier had high dreams of starting a full-time day school, but his dreams were blotted out by severe trouble in the congregation. He, however, carried on with a Saturday and Sunday school. Pastor Zuberbier accepted a call to Muskegon in 1922.

Between 1922 and 1924, Professor Schiller of Michigan Lutheran Seminary carried on the Saturday and Sunday school as the vacancy pastor.

In 1924, Pastor Otto J. Eckert accepted a call to St. John and immediately made plans to start a full-time Christian Day school. Soon, the school was thriving, but again severe trouble in the congregation forced Pastor Eckert to accept a call to Tawas City, Michigan in 1928. The Christian Day school was closed and St. John suffered a severe setback.

The small band of members of St. John decided to carry on, and under Synod’s direction asked Pastor Voss of Swan Creek to serve as vacancy pastor and teacher of the Sunday school. In 1930, Pastor Voss accepted a call to Tawas, Michigan.

Because of the depression, St. John and Christ Lutheran decided to share one pastor again.

Pastor Carl Kionka accepted a call to serve both congregations as pastor and teacher. He taught Saturday school for 10 years. At this time it would be fitting to pay tribute to those faithful members of both St. John and Christ Lutheran and to Pastor Carl Kionka who so faithfully carried on under God’s guidance.

Through God’s grace St. John, in 1940, with Synod’s help, again called Rev. Nathaniel Luetke. He immediately accepted the call to be the pastor and teacher of St. John. He had plans for a day school but his most important work was to build up the congregation. How well he succeeded with God’s help is shown by the fact that St. John became self-supporting in 1945 when Pastor Luetke accepted a call to Sebawaing, Michigan, and in 1946 Pastor Raymond Frey agreed to be pastor and teacher of St. John. In the fall of 1947, Pastor Frey started a full-time Christian Day school. He was teaching all eight grades for six years, from 1947 to 1953. 

In 1955 after dedication of the new church, the congregation decided that since heating of the church was necessary, for economy sake, they would open school in the basement of the church. The state permitted the congregation to open school in the church basement only if plans would be made to build a school house in the future. In 1967, the state inspector gave St. John a final warning, if proof could not be shown that plans are completed for a new building, they would not permit school to open in September of 1968. A building and finance committee were chosen, and plans were discussed and completed.

The contract for the building was awarded to Alfred Mumford & Sons and construction began early in August. Cornerstone was laid on September 29, 1968 and today, the building still stands and still lives out its mission to teach the next generation about Jesus. 


Teachers:

Rev. P.F. Cares (1900-1917)

Rev. Otto Eckert (1924-1928)

Rev. C.J. Kionka (1930-1940)

Rev. R.O. Frey (1947-1954)

Miss Victoria Spaude (1953-1955)

Mrs. Mary Scherzer (1955-1956)

Rev. Otto Drevlow (1956-1957)

Miss Audrey Burwitz (Jeschke) (1957-1959)

Miss Marianne Albrecht (1959-1960)

Miss Marie Zweig (Schmidt) (1960-1963, 1967-1968)

Mrs. Helen Scoles (1963-1964, 1965-1971, 1973-1989)

Miss Elizabeth Seeger (Pretzer) (1964-1967)

Rev. Norman Pommeranz (1967-1968)

Miss Patricia Hein (1968, semester 2)

Miss Donna Poff (1968-1970)

Miss Helen Kueht (1969-1973)

Miss Carolyn Achterberg (1971-1974)

Miss Patricia Thompson (1973-1975)

Miss Sandy Stogbauer (1975-1977)

Miss Linda Sette (Pretzer) (1977-1984, 1987-1988, 1989-1995)

Miss Jean Chrisitiansen (1984, semester 2)

Mr. Keith Schroeder (1984-1989)

Mrs. Karen Rodewald (1989-1990)

Mrs. Sally Scott (1989-1992)

Mr. Phil Rehberger (1990-1996)

Miss Jody Walkins (1995-1998)

Mr. David Mielke (1996-2002)

Mrs. Penny Mielke (1998-1999)

Mrs. Maxine Mund (1999-2000)

Miss Becky Wagner (2000-2003) 

Mr. Aaron Hartwig (2002-2009) 

Mrs. Jody Scharrer— (2002-2005, 2015-2016, 2018- present)

Mrs. Karen Jacobs (2005-2012)

Mr. Zach Seeger (2009-2014)

Miss Sarah Ewald (2012-2016)

Mr. Justin Danell (2014-2018)

Mrs. Kathryn Thooft (2016-2018)

Mr. Matthew Stob (2018-2023)

Mrs. Erin Becker (2023-present)

Mr. Nathan Spaude (2023-present)