On April 18, 1832 at a burial service for Mother Weaver at the Christ Church in Schoenersville, George Weaver spoke to Reverend J.C. Becker about building a church in the Howertown area to encompass the churches of Zion Church, Kreidersville and Christ Church. George Hower generously offered some of his land free of charge to make this happen.
A formal meeting was held on April 30, 1832 at which time, Jacob Deshler, Peter Laubach and John Hagenbuch also made offers of their land to build a church. Ultimately, the offer of one and a half acres on the east or west side of the Bethlehem Road (Weaversville Road) plus $125.00, made by John Hagenbuch, was accepted.
At a meeting on February 1, 1834, it was decided that the church would be built on the west side of Bethlehem Road. On November 29, 1834, a Constitution committee submitted a constitution that was adopted. A church council was elected for both Reformed and Lutheran. A contract which addressed the specifications of the church structure was also drawn up. The price of construction was found to be $3,200.
Construction began and the corner stone was laid on June 8, 1835. The church was consecrated on December 25 and 26, 1835. The total cost of the church was $3,685.
On July 16, 1905, the last service was held in the old church which served the people for 70 years. More space was needed for Sunday School and the members generously gave to support this project. It was determined that construction for the one floor church and Sunday School building would not exceed $12,000. On July 21, 1905, the church was demolished to make room for a new church. Services were held in a nearby schoolhouse for 14 months while the new church was built.
The cornerstone was laid on October 29, 1905.
When the church had been started in 1835, it had been a five point preaching charge. By 1905, it was a three point charge consisting of St. John’s, Howertown; St. Peter’s, Seemsville and Christ, Walnutport. After a few years, the Walnutport congregation was dissolved from the charge due to its distance from the other two congregations. In 1924, Christ congregation of Schoenersville reunited with Howertown and St. Peter’s of Seemsville and in January of 1957, a vote was taken and it was agreed to change to a two point charge comprised of St. John’s and Christ of Schoenersville. It was decided in 1963, that St. John’s would benefit much more from having the services of their own pastor, rather than a shared pastor. On April 20, 1963, the union of Christ and St. John’s was dissolved.
On September 28, 1969, the UCC Congregation voted for dissolution of the Union Church. The Lutherans of St. John’s joined with the Lutherans of St. Peter’s, Seemsville and Zion Stone in Kreidersville to form the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Over the years, numerous repairs and changes were made to the church, namely the building of the Fellowship Hall Building with a price of $340,000. Groundbreaking was held on September 27, 1992 and on June 13, 1993, the Cornerstone Dedication Service was held.
Today, St. John’s continues to thrive and carry out the mission of the early visionaries who undertook the enormous task of bringing worship services to the Howertown community. Please come out and join us- everyone is welcome in our church.