In 1841 a group of people of German descent, but of different religious denominations, met together for worship. They were former members of the “Evangelical Church,” “Lutheran Church,” and “Reformed Church” of Germany. They joined together to form a united congregation, independent of the control of any of the three denominations. They met for service in a little frame building on Third St.
The first recorded act of this church was the baptism on April 23, 1832 of Henry Jacob Grebe by a Rev. Mayer. The first constitution was adopted in 1840 and is the accepted date of the official beginning of the church. In 1841, they purchased their first church edifice from Christ Church, located on the Northeast corner of Main and St. Michael Ave.
The church received their charter from the Indiana legislature on January 31, 1842 under the name of the German Evangelical Lutheran Reformed Church of Madison Indiana.
In 2008, after suffering water damage from Hurricane Ike, church members discovered decorative artwork, which had been painted over many times. Details were uncovered and restoration specialist, David Cart, was able to match the colors and begin the painstaking process of recreating the artwork. Each visual art piece in the Church holds symbolic religious reference. Red represents the blood of Christ, blue stands for purity, green is used to represent the earthly realm and shades of white signify the heavenly realm.
St. John’s was honored in 2012 with Historic Madison’s Dorothy Ingalls Reindollar Award, and Indiana Landmarks also presented the church with a regional historic preservation award for the restoration project.
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