St. John’s church was organized in 1868. As early as 1862, services were held for Lutherans in the locality of the church. The first building erected by the congregation was a church built of logs. During those years, the services were held primarily in German. The church property was purchased in 1868 along with a log cabin school house. In 1878 the old log church gave way to the first church known as the “Brick Church on the Oregon Street Road”. Also, a school was constructed named the Golden Rod School. In 1872, the first resident pastor Rev. H. Hoops accepted the call as the full time pastor of the church. The first full time teacher for the Christian Day School was called in 1887. The school benches were long handmade log-hewed benches. The benches were large enough to seat six pupils. The pupils had to walk miles to school in those years. The English language slowly came into use in 1924. The school closed in 1944.

In 1966, on a windy, sub-zero early January morning the church and all the contents of St. John’s were destroyed by a fire. The pastor at the time, Raymond Poff and his family, also losing their home and contents, were awakened by a neighbor and survived. The Van Dyne Fire Department graciously offered their facilities and church services were moved to the Firehouse until a new church was built. Several members in Van Dyne opened their homes providing facilities for Sunday School classes. A new parsonage and church were built and dedicated on August 27, 1967. These new buildings could not have been constructed if it was not for the loyalty of the congregation and the friendship of the community. The bell clanger hanging in the narthex was pulled from the rubble and is a reminder of that fateful day.