Our Story

St. John Lutheran Church of Atwater, Minnesota, was founded in 1871 by German farmers who had recently settled in the area.  They came from diverse regions of Germany, but were united in the need to join together and worship their common Lord.  In 1873, they built the first church/school and then turned to the Missouri Synod for a Pastor. 

Throughout their 150 years, St. John has held fast to Biblical Truths in its teachings, sacraments, and educational programs.  A Parochial School was supported from 1873 to 2010, offering a Christian education through 8th grade.  The congregation gradually transitioned from being a "German Lutheran" congregation, converting completely to English by the start of WWII.  The congregation is now a mixture of descendants from the original families, plus newer families from the surrounding area who are seeking God's truth.

Today, St. John is a vibrant congregation with an average worship attendance of 90.  Unlike many rural congregations, St. John has a diverse age distribution with more than 30 children enrolled in Sunday School.  St. John is very active in foreign missions, supporting churches in Sri Lanka and Madagascar and an orphanage in Nicaragua.  With God's help, we purchased six motorcycles for the Lanka Lutheran pastors so that they could better support their congregations and have built from the cornerstone up a new church in Irina, Madagascar through financial donations.  The congregation continues to provide financial support to seminary students who have their roots in our church.  St. John is also known throughout the community for our annual Oktoberfeast and Oyster Stew Supper.  The church also has an active LWML Ladies Aid society and so much more. 

What we Believe:

St John Lutheran Church of Atwater, Minnesota is part of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS or Synod).  The LCMS is a mission-oriented and Bible-based denomination that confesses the historic, orthodox Christian faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a faith built on "the foundation of the apostles and prophets , Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone" (Eph . 2:20).  With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God, who created all that exists; became man to suffer, die, and rise again for the world's redemption; and brings people to faith and new life through His Word and Sacraments.  The three persons of the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - are coequal and coeternal, one God.  

  • Est in 1871
  • Located just north of City of Atwater in Harrison Township, Kandiyohi County
  • We believe in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession