German Lutheran families began settling in the rich valley of the North Fork of the Elkhorn River in 1869, near what became the city of Pierce. These families established their own congregation on October 23, 1871, first meeting in a local sod house. St. John’s was the first church established in Pierce County. The congregation met in a schoolhouse before building its first church in 1884. The present church was built in 1913. Many descendants of the church founders are current members.