Founding of St. John's
St John’s was founded in late 1889. She began serving the Lord in Port Washington in 1890 with the purchase an old Presbyterian Church building. This first building was located at the intersection of Main and Milwaukee streets. A school was added to the kingdom work. Adding a basement under the church made room for the school. This school remained in operation until after WWI and was closed because male teachers were difficult to obtain.
From these small beginnings God blessed St. John’s with many years of rapid growth. The buildings used by a congregation are a manifestation of the souls God is serving with Word and Sacrament. Along the way St. John’s has built to accommodate the growth in the congregation and to meet the challenges of being called-out to proclaim Christ in Port Washington. The first new sanctuary was dedicated in 1914. This sanctuary is still being used on the corner of West Foster and Webster streets.
Years of Rapid Growth
In 1950 ground was broken to begin expansion with the addition of seating in the sanctuary as well as more room in the basement including a stage. In 1957 ground was again broken for Sunday School and office space. The final addition came in 1965 to eliminate the outside steps, and provide a new narthex, kitchen and restrooms.
St. John’s again entered the field of education when it opened the pre-school in 1987. In 1996 the congregation opened St. John’s Lutheran Academy with plans to offer kindergarten through the eighth grade. The first year the Academy offered kindergarten with plans to add an additional grade each year.
In 1999 the congregation voted to relocate the Church and Academy and moved into the old Freeman Chemical Building and renovations were initiated. A new Sanctuary and Kitchen as well as classrooms for what became St. John's Lutheran Church & Academy were completed. Although the Academy has since closed, recent efforts to study the feasibility of a Lutheran Classical School are underway. In association with Pilgrim Lutheran - West Bend & St. Johns Lutheran - Fredonia, St. Johns Lutheran - Port Washington will be home to a new school starting Fall 2024.