St. John’s was founded over 150 years ago by immigrant Norwegian Lutherans. The congregation had close ties with St. Olaf College since its founding, and was the birthplace of the renowned St. Olaf Choir.  Music, especially singing together, continues to be at the heart of our life together.

While the congregation’s members are now more ethnically and religiously diverse, we have continued our attention to newcomers and immigrants throughout our history. Twice in the last century St. John’s has made a special effort to reach out to refugees: after World War II when the congregation helped to resettle 250 “displaced persons” and in 1975 as part of a Northfield-area program to resettle more than 100 refugees from Vietnam.  This effort continues today with efforts to assist newly resettled refugees.

Oral Histories

Life in the Time of COVID

Music and Arts

As part of St. John’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, Nathan Proctor, Organist and Director of Music, Worship & Arts, shares the history of music and composers at St. John’s. Judy Swanson shares the architectural history of St. John’s and the architects in the congregation who helped create the church building we have today.