Photo: Al Mach
Used as a place of worship and community meeting place for many years, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, like many country churches, lost its congregation to larger consolidated churches in the 1950s, closed its doors in 1961 and became a hay barn.
The current owner purchased the church, farmhouse and property in 2000. The church is now a woodworking shop for the master furniture maker who resides on the property.
The entire compound pays tribute to a compatible mixture of rural heritage and modern creativity.
The cornerstone for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was laid Sept. 1, 1901, but the congregation was active at least as early as 1894, serving the families that settled Cullers Run.
Founders included many family names still common today: Delawder, Dove, Fauley, Jenkins, Loury, May, Moyers, Sherman, Souder, Sours, Stultz, Ketterman, Loy, Strawderman and Wilkins. The first baptism was Jan. 17, 1903, for Virginia V. Smith. The first marriage united Noah Moyers and Emma Loury on Nov. 15, 1903, and a month later, on Christmas Eve, Perry L. Dove and Florence H. Loury were married.
Lewis Loury provided land for a cemetery on a hilltop just above St. John’s. The earliest marker carries the date April 8, 1894, for Arthur Loury.
When cars became common, roads were improved and ministers became hard to find and keep; people left their home churches for large, consolidated congregations. St. John’s, like so many country churches, closed its doors in 1961.
Open courtesy of Joshua Miller
Directions: From Route 259, about 1.6 miles south of Mathias, take Crab Run Road. After 1.3 miles, turn right onto Cullers Run Road. St. John’s is at 460 Cullers Run Road, on the right.