St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church
Submitted by Don Knopf

St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Rogers City (Presque Isle County), MI


Built in late 1872 under the direction of Friedrich Horn.  Dedicated in 1873, served until 1907.       

  St. Johannes Kirche (St. John Church)  founded 12 August 1873 by the following:  
       Rev. Joseph Antonius Bohn  
       Friedrich Christian Horn  
       Herman Hoeft  
       Robert Julius Horn  
       Henry Armst�dt  
       Ernst Papke  
       Wilhelm Repke  
       Friedrich Bertram  
       Rudolph Streich  
       Eduard Kuhlmann  
       August Wenzel  
       Johann Kaeding  
       Henry Wenzel  
       Wilhelm Domke  
       August Radke 

Church Leaders  (1873 � 1907)  First Church
       1873-1881  Friedrich Horn      Vorsteher
1873-1875 August Radke Vorsteher
1873-1879 Herman Hoeft Trustee
1873-1879 Heinrich Wenzel Trustee
1873-1874 Ernst Pepke(?) Trustee
1875-1885 Robert J. Horn Trustee
1875-1885 Friedrich Bertram Vorsteher
1878-1892 Eduard Kuhlman Trustee
1878-1915 Rudolph Streich,Sr. Trustee
1879-1885 Ludwig Bruder Trustee
1882-1885 August Schlager Trustee
1882-1883 August Wenzel Vorsteher
1883-1886 Bernhard Wenzel Trustee
1884-1886 Christian Reinke Trustee
1885-1897 Ferdinand Tank Trustee
1885-1888 Fred J. Keil Vorsteher
1886-1887 August Kohnert Trustee
1886-1897 Max C. Kuhlman Vorsteher
- 1886-1890 John Kaeding Vorsteher
1887-1890 Carl Horn Trustee
1889-1901 August Kohnert Vorsteher
1890-1892 August Adrian Trustee
1892-1893 Eduard Kuhlman Trustee
1893-1897 Ernst Paepke Trustee
1895-1902 Herman Dode Vorsteher
1896-1904 Herman Hoch Vorsteher
1897-1907 Ernst Adrian Vorsteher
1897-1907 Max C. Kuhlman Trustee
1899-1903 August Wenzel Trustee
1902-1905 Emil Poch Vorsteher
1904-1907 Fred Flemming Vorsteher
1905-1907 Carl Maurer Vorsteher
Vorsteher=Elder The 2nd St. John Lutheran Church on Erie Street in Rogers City, MI, dedicated 14 January 1907, served until 1970. THE 2nd ST. JOHN CHURCH With a growing population in Rogers, a larger church was needed. Land at the corner of Erie and 5th Streets was given by Paul H. Hoeft,
immediately south of his Huron Heights mansion and gardens. The new church was dedicated on 13 January 1907. The building itself was
large enough to make room for the excellent gift of a Reuter pipe organ which was also donated by Mr. Paul Hoeft in 1921. At the time it
was installed, it was one of the largest organs in use in Northern Michigan. Soon after the new church was dedicated, more property was
secured for a new school building that was built in 1911 and a parsonage that was built in 1915. The Lehndorff home and property was purchased
for use as a playground for the school children. ST. JOHN�S ORGANS When Fred J. Keil, Sr. arrived in Rogers City, 1878, from Detroit, discussions were made of the feasibility of an organ. At that time the
congregation was small, and the worshippers few in number, but it had the one thing of priceless worth: the pure Gospel and the unadulterated
Sacraments. The congregation was none the less quite progressive, as the following incident will illustrate. At that time the congregation had
no organ, so that the pastor had to lead in the congregational singing. One day Fred remarked to Pastor Druckenmiller that the congregation
ought to purchase an organ to relieve him from the strain of leading in the singing. The pastor more than welcomed the suggestion. Finally in
1887, a meeting on the matter was brought to the attention of the congregation. Without much debate a resolution was passed to purchase a reed
organ, and soon after, Fred, while on a trip to Detroit in 1888, put the congregation�s resolution into effect. In due time the reed organ arrived in Rogers city. But of what good is an organ without an organist? The congregation now had an organ but it
had no organist! At that time it so happened that Fred played the clarinet and accordion, and some members insisted that if one could play the
clarinet and accordion he could also play the organ. Other members took up his argument, and since there was no other way out of the difficulty,
Fred set himself to the task. The organ was carted to his store in Rogers City, where, in the intervals between waiting on customers, he familiarized himself with the organ,
and diligently practiced some of the more familiar good old chorales. On the following Sunday, though with fear and trembling, he played the
organ for the church service. And after that initial performance served the congregation in the capacity of organist till he moved back to
Detroit in 1890. (Fred Keil was also partner with Robert Horn in the store they owned-operated in Rogers City. The store was bought from
Hermann Hoeft.) Upon Fred Keil�s move to Detroit, August Bertram played the organ, both in the First Street church and in the one on Erie and Fifth Street.
It was during August�s time a choir was organized. The reed organ served St. John until 1921 when Mr. Paul H. Hoeft gifted the church with
a Reuter Pipe Organ. The organ had 680 pipes and 11 stops. After St. John�s 3rd church building was dedicated, those pipes and stops were
incorporated into the new Scott Wheeler Company Organ. The organ was increased to 1701 pipes and 24 stops. It is in played regularly for two
church services, yet today (2011). REED ORGAN (1878-1921) REUTER PIPE ORGAN (1921-pesent) Paul Herman Hoeft gifted St. John Church with the Reuter Pipe Organ. Paul, age nine months, was on the same ship, KEPPLER, as Friedrich and
Wilhelmine HORN and family. His parents, Hermann and Pauline Jagnow Hoeft, settled in Detroit on Sherman Street. Living next door on Sherman
Street were my g-grandparents, Carl and Pauline Goltz Knopf and family, who arrived in America one year later in 1866. Both families permanently
settled in Presque Isle County in 1873. The 3rd and present building of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Rogers City, MI, dedicated 15 April 1970. THE 3rd ST. JOHN CHURCH In early 1960, the need for a new church building became increasingly apparent as the average church attendance reached 600 each Sunday.
The first step toward the realization of a new church building was made in 1959, when the P. H. Hoeft Mansion and Gardens property, just a
little west of the old church building, was acquired for $22,500. On 15 February 1970 the new �trinity� plan Sanctuary of St. John was
dedicated. That building serves the congregation yet today (2011). A new Scott Wheeler Company Organ with 1,707 individual pipes with 24
speaking stops was installed that incorporated 680 pipes and 11 stops from the Reuter Organ. Submitted by - Donald Knopf Fort Wayne, IN 20 August 2011

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