Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Complex
St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church.jpg
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Location 804--816 W. Vliet St.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nearest city Milwaukee
Coordinates 43°2′55.72″N 87°55′19.01″W / 43.0488111°N 87.9219472°W / 43.0488111; -87.9219472Coordinates: 43°2′55.72″N 87°55′19.01″W / 43.0488111°N 87.9219472°W / 43.0488111; -87.9219472
Built 1889
Architect Herman Paul Schnetzky;
Eugene R. Liebert
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP reference # 92000459
Added to NRHP May 18, 1992

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Evangelische Luth. St. Johanneskirche) is a church located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The complex is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a Milwaukee Landmark.


St. John's congregation was founded December 4, 1848, by German immigrants and is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Members of the church, along with neighboring Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and Grace Lutheran, helped seed other Lutheran churches in the area, including St. Peter's.[1] In the 1850s there were discussions to merge St. John's and Trinity, but theological differences prevented the merger.

The church was designed in Gothic Revival style by German-born architect Herman Paul Schnetzky and his understudy Eugene R. Liebert, and was built in 1889. As with the Trinity Church building, it features landmark spires of unequal height, one of 127 feet (39 m) and the other of 197 feet (60 m). The taller steeple houses three bells, weighing more than 6 short tons (5.4 t). The church is considered to be one of the finest examples of German Lutheran church architecture in the United States. Other parts of the church complex were constructed in Queen Anne architectural style.

Since its founding, St. John's has been the site of a number historical events including the founding of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America in 1872. It has also hosted numerous Milwaukee and synod church events including the 2016 Reformation Rally for the Urban Conference of Wisconsin Synod Churches in Milwaukee.

In 2015 the former Caretaker's Cottage underwent a restoration and now serves as the Congregation's fellowship center The church's organ was first built by Carl Barckhoff in 1890, and was rebuilt and enlarged by Wangerin-Weickhardt in 1919.

William Schaefer has pastored the church since 2016.


Exterior View
Exterior view 
Interior - North
Interior - northern view 
Balcony and organ 
Clock tower
Clock tower 
Balcony stairway
Balcony stairway 
Balcony and organ
Balcony and organ 
The Four Gospels window
The Four Gospels Window 
Cartaker's cottage
Caretaker's cottage 


  1. ^ Jerome Watrous (1909). Memoirs of Milwaukee County. Western Historical Association. p. 351. ISBN 978-1-152-02689-6. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 

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