St. John Lutheran Church, ELCA

O God Our Help in Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come.

St. John is celebrating the 170th year of this congregation.

ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY YEARS AGO: on the first Sunday in Advent, a group of God-fearing and God-loving people gathered together to organize St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Richmond Indiana. They called upon the Lord to bless their church and asked His continued blessings and guidance. Today we give thanks to God for the past 170 years and to those Lutheran members who began “Proclaiming the Gospel” in 1844. The Congregation is grateful for those members who have gone before and those who continue to proclaim the Gospel at ST. John and the other five Lutheran congregations in Wayne County.

Dec. 7th - ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of Chicago and I-K Synod Bishop William Gafkjen of Indianapolis were our guests for the December 7th Anniversary Celebration worship at10:30 am special worship service to celebrate our 170th anniversary Sunday. Special music included the "Something Good" women's choir of Eaton, Ohio. Also instrumental music by Jim Zimnicki on trumpet and David Brumfield on Trombone were included along with the St. John organ played by Karen Rosenberger. Thank you all for enriching our service.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was elected as the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop at the 2013 EL:CA Churchwide Assembly. Born in Cleveland on April 2, 1955, Eaton earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Ordained June 4, 1981, Eaton served as assistant pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington, OH; interim pastor of Good Hope Lutheran Church in baordman, Ohio:and pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Ashtabula, Ohio. She was elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod in 2006 and re-elected in May 2013. Eaton’s husband, the Rev. T. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priet, is vice president for advancement and church relations at Bexley Seabury Federation. They are parents of two adult children, Rebeckah and Suannah.


The Rev. Doctor William O. Gafkjen (GUFF-ee-ehn) has served as bishop for the Indiana-Kentucky Synod since September 2010. Raised in Minnesota, Bishop Gafkjen earned a Bachelor’s Degree from St. olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. He received a masters of Divinity from Luther northwestern (now called Luther) Seminary in St. Paul, MN. And a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Following his ordination in 1985, Rev. Gafkjen served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Mora, MN;Hly Trinity Lutheran Church, Niles, MN; Lutheran Campus Minisrty at Penn State University, State College,PA; Evangelical Lutheran Church, Duncanville, PA;and Christ the king Lutheran Church, South Bend, IN. From 2002 until his election and call as bishop, Pastor Gafkjen served the synod as Assistant to the bishop. Bishop Gafkjen and his wife Janet are the parents of two children, Nathan and Kira. They reside in Fishers, IN.
















THE CONGREGATIONAL DINNER, held at the MCL Restaurant, 3801 E. Main St., Richmond followed the 170th worship service on Sunday, Dec. 7th, was a wonderful way to end the 170th anniversary service. President Jim Resh welcomed all, Pastor Culver did the Invocation, all sang the Hymn-”Now Thank We All Our God”, President Jim Resh Introduced the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton who gave us ELCA Greetings and the Indian-Kentucky Synod Bishop, Bishop William Gafkjen gave Synod Greetings. We closed the Dinner with the Hymn- “O God Our Help In Ages Past”.