German immigrants came in large numbers to Dayton during the 19th century.  In 1834 pioneer minister Dr. David Winters ministered to the needs of the German population in Dayton.  On July 18, 1840, a group of German Evangelical Protestants organized St. John’s Church as the “German Evangelical Congregation” which met at the old court house at Third and Main Streets.


In 1865, after several pastors and locations, the congregation purchased the East Third Street site for $5,000. 


In 1899, a fire destroyed the building where the present sanctuary was built.  In 1901 the building construction was complete and the current day facility was open for worship.


In 1965 the office and education building was built.  The second floor if the education building houses the English as a Second Language International School.



The sanctuary floor plan is a five-sided Akron design that was popular in America at the turn of the century.  The design with a moving wall provided seating for 2,000 participants on special Sundays.


The wall, which is located to the right of the organ does not move at this time. Behind the wall now contains the Historical Room and the pastor’s office.




Our pipe organ was originally installed as a Water-powered Hook & Hastings Tracker Action organ in 1874.  Before organs were electrified, the organs received their wind by pumping.  This organ utilized running water that turned the mechanics and in turn created the wind.  The organ was rebuilt from the 1899 fire and 1913 flood.  In 1949 the organ was electrified and modernized by the Schantz Organ Company.  The current organ is a Shantz Three Manual (keyboards) 37 rank pipe organ.  This console plays the 2,131 pipes.



Stain Glass Windows 


The Stain Glass Windows of the sanctuary were dedicated in 1901.




The fresco paintings that adorn the sanctuary walls and dome were painted in 1924 by an immigrant Herman Dinkler, whom Rev. J.G. Mueller had asked to come from Germany.


Bell Tower


The bells in the tower date back to 1844 when they were purchased from the Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati.  Each of the original bells were engraved with an inscription: Faith, Love and Hope.  The smallest of the bells melted in the fire of 1899.  It is believed that the bells in the tower today are the originals, the smallest being recast.  All records were lost in the flood of 1913.  The bells are played every Sunday prior to service.


Clock Tower


The clock in the east tower was purchased from the Howard Clock Company of Boston before 1899 and restored and modernized periodically, the last being in 1999.


Significant Contributions to the Dayton Community


Miami Valley Hospital was founded by Rev. Carl Mueller, Pastor of St. John’s in 1890Patterson Co-Operative HS was the result of St. John’s starting evening classes in 1906 to enable all to better prepare for employment.  Dr. W. R. Grunewald served the needs of German POWs interned at Wright Patterson AFB during WWII.  The English as a Second Language School is managed by the Miami Valley CTC and meets during the week at St. John’s.