About us

"Growing and Responding Every Day As Disciples of Jesus."

Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church is one of nearly 11,000 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) www.elca.org.

Within the ELCA there are 65 synods throughout the United States and Saint John Lutheran is one of 137 ELCA congregations in the Southeastern Iowa Synod www.seiasynod.org.

Brief History of Saint John Lutheran Church

Around 1830, German Lutherans from Pennsylvania began to settle in this area along the Mississippi River. In 1864, these Lutheran families requested the pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Andrew to come to Bellevue and conduct services on Sunday afternoon. At first the services were held in private homes, but then moved to the Court House which is now the elementary school.

In 1868, the Reverend J. C. Rembold was called to serve as pastor of this community of faithful Lutherans. Upon his arrival the congregation began the construction of a church building. The original building is currently the main section in which the people sit and worship today.

Throughout the years there have been various additions to our church to accommodate our growth. In 2000, Saint John was entrusted with the gift of the Rickert family farm, which is now named Saint John Retreat Center. In the fall of 2001, we began the construction of Rickert Lodge at our retreat center. This lodge overlooks Christian Valley and the Mississippi river and is a central gathering place for retreats, worship, and family gatherings.

he mission and ministries of Saint John continue to grow as we strive to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ into our community through our television ministry. In 2000, The Lutheran Channel (43) on the Bellevue Cable Network began broadcasting our services live. A new cable system was built in Bellevue in 2008 and our broadcast moved to channel 28 on the iVue Cable System. This channel is solely operated and programmed by Saint John.

From the very beginning, the members of Saint John continue to grow and respond every day as disciples to the needs of the community and to the mission of our Lord.


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Pastor Paul
Paul W. Gammelin

Pastor Paul came to Saint John in October 1999. Since his ordination in 1989, he has served congregations in Gackle, ND and Wausau, WI. He attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA.


Office Administrator
Ann Skoff

Ann joined the staff in December 1999. Along with the daily secretarial responsibilities, she is responsible for the financial bookkeeping, publishing the monthly newsletter, and updating our television channel.


Our Organists
Joanne Mensinger & Jan Schroeder

Jan Schroeder and Joanne Mensinger serve as our organist/pianists. Jan has served since 1970 and Joanne joined us in 2003.

Choir Director
Curt Zeimet

Curt has been a part of our music program for many years. In the fall of 2003, Curt became our Choir Director.

Kathy Ohlert

Kathy has been our custodian since 2006.