St. John’s Mission:

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we joyfully invite all to love, serve, and
grow in Christ while embracing a changing world.

We welcome you to learn more about our congregation


St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery is located adjacent to the church. This cemetery is still in use, and is the final resting place of the founders of the congregation to present day. Some families will find many generations resting here together. The cemetery also contains a cremains garden. The cemetery is open to the public for those who would like to walk around or visit a grave.  To find a loved one, please use the link to Find a Grave. For information about the cemetery, please contact the church office at (864) 638-6363 or

At St. John’s Lutheran Church you will find a people full of love for God and love for one another. Our lives are rooted in the Holy Trinity – worshiping God who creates, redeems, and sustains us in our journey of faith and life together.

Each week at the end of our worship service, the congregation affirms the mission of St. John’s Church: We are called and empowered by God to spread the Gospel and the share the love of Jesus Christ in service to all. We seek to live out this mission through our ministries that are centered in worship, learning, fellowship and service.

As an historic Lutheran church, our congregation is rooted in the faith and tradition that has been passed from generation to generation. We understand that we are saved by God’s grace made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means that God loves us no matter what we do and because of that love we try to live good lives and to respond to God’s grace by generously using gifts we have been given in service to others.

We seek to be a place of welcome where all people— no matter their race, age, background, sexual orientation, or any other status— can come together and find a place of belonging, share in the meaning-making of faith and life, and trust in the hope of a future that has been prepared for us by God.

Our days and weeks at St. John’s are always full of inspiring faith-filled, and fun events. I invite you to check out this site and our ministries. Come and see who we are and participate in the work of God’s kingdom in this place!

since 1853

Early History of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

On November 20, 1853, a group of German Lutheran immigrants organized St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Walhalla, South Carolina with 38 members signing the charter and constitution. This group had previously moved from Charleston, SC, formed the German Colonization Society, and founded the town of Walhalla in 1850. They chose to settle in the area because it reminded them of their homeland in Northern Germany.

At a meeting on January 21, 1859, the congregation voted to begin construction of their church. John Kaufmann, designed the building and directed the construction of the building with the assistance of August Brennecke, and members of the congregation. Timber from the property on which St. John’s stands (hewn with broadaxes) was used to build the four corner posts that support the spire. They are approximately 60 feet long, 15 by 16 inches at the base and 14 by 15 inches at the top. The spire continues another thirty feet.

The first meeting in the church was held on June 24, 1860. The church was dedicated on Sunday, March 17, 1861. Until 1907, all services were conducted in German. The original bell was a ship’s bell placed in the steeple in 1868 and is now on display in the Fellowship Hall. The tower clock was added in1889 and still chimes on the hour. The pulpit’s style is like that of the High Church of Germany and is built into the foundation of the church. The pews, chancel, altar and pulpit were built by John Kaufmann, August Brennecke, and Mr. Holweg.

Architecturally, the building has been praised for its simplicity of design and excellent proportions. The vaulted ceilings, arched windows, choir loft, pulpit, and altar are unique in their massive style as distinctive features of St. John’s Church. The interior was restored to the original colors in 2000.

The stained glass windows date from 1910. The Good Shepherd window, located above the pulpit, was originally located in St. Matthew’s German Lutheran Church in Augusta, Georgia. It was secured by Mrs. Sophia Rimrodt Ritter who gave the window to St. John’s in 1940.
St. John’s has an historic cemetery adjacent to the church where the first residents were buried, as well as General John Wagener, founder of Walhalla. In 1877 his body was removed and reburied in Charleston.

St. John’s stands today as it has for over 160 years. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings.

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