About St. John Lutheran Church

St. John Lutheran Church in Grafton, Wisconsin, an ELCA Lutheran Church, is a welcoming, community-minded group of people, passionate about Mission in service to Jesus Christ; who worship in a traditional and meaningful setting that instills peace and hope through God's Word while providing the opportunity to make lifelong friendships.

Our Mission

It is our mission as people called by God into the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church to:

  1. Proclaim the Gospel in worship and daily life
  2. Study and teach God's Word
  3. Fellowship among people of this congregation
  4. Serve people in our surrounding community

This is the MISSION and MINISTRY that we accept as fellow Christians at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lakefield.

St. John Lutheran Church
Grafton, WI
Serving Christ Since 1866

The history of St. John Lutheran Church began in the mid-1860s when Lutheran residents of the Lakefield community, in the Town of Grafton, sought to establish a congregation closer to their homes. With the assistance of Pastor Friedrich Gebhardt of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, WI, the protocol (constitution) was written and the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church was formed on January 28, 1866. The property was obtained on Lakefield Road which included a building housing a local tavern. The upper floor of the former tavern became the worship space with the pastoral residence on the main floor. Pastor Bernard Marr was Called by the congregation in 1882 and a new church was built in 1891. The parsonage next to the church was built in 1906 and used until 1970.

St. John Lutheran Church had no formal membership in a larger church body until, along with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, it joined the Iowa Synod in 1921, continuing in that synod until the American Lutheran Church was organized in 1930 in a merger with the Iowa, Ohio, and Buffalo Synods. When the American Lutheran Church (ALC) joined with Danish and Norwegian churches in 1960, TheAmerican Lutheran Church was founded.

The current building on the corner of Lakefield and Port Washington Roads, was built in 1968 on land donated by Gerhard and Wilma Clasen. The Sunday School and administration wing was added in 1980. St. John Lutheran Church continues its ministry through its membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran church in the United States formed in 1988. The ministry of this congregation continues with vital liturgical worship. Biblical preaching, excellent music and a strong emphasis on social ministry for needs of all people, both in the community and internationally. 

The St. John Lutheran Church PEACE GARDEN is located within the fenced area on the south side of our property on Port Washington Rd in the Town of Grafton. Constructed in 2014 and funded with a bequest from members, Jack and Irene Kurtz, the garden becomes more lush and beautiful each year. Johnson's Nursery of Menomonee Falls provided the professional landscaping for the garden which is composed of flowering bushes, perennials, and annuals to provide changing colors from spring until fall and interesting textures throughout winter. A bird feeder and birdbath attract a variety of birds, while the flowers attract butterflies and bees to make for a lively place of nature. The decorative paver blocks provide easy navigation/handicap accessibility for all. The patio has heavy-duty furniture for comfortable seating in all seasons. Uses for the Peace Garden include:

  • Sunday worship
  • Adult Day Center gatherings
  • Weddings
  • Family Promise guest gatherings
  • Ice Cream in the Garden following worship in summer

Upkeep of the garden is provided by members of our Green Thumb Club. Duties include weeding, planting annuals, pruning perennials, refreshing mulch and watering. We are always looking for more 'green thumbers' to help keep our garden looking beautiful for everyone to enjoy God's creation.

The Peace Garden is also available for all in the surrounding community to use for spiritual reflection. For information about reserving the garden or helping with upkeep, please contact the church office at: 262-377-0410.

Meet Our Team

Jim O'Reilly-Christensen


Pr. Jim was Called to serve as Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in late April of 2009. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee with a bachelor degree in American history...

Robin Fatla

Office Manager

Robin has been the office manager at St. John since 2001. She is generally in the office every day from 9:00 to 1:00. In addition to her clerical duties, she keeps watch over the building and...

Sandy Allen

Church Council President

Sandy Allen is the current St. John Church Council President, being elected in January, 2019.  She has served in a number of capacities on the Council, including leading...

How to Join

We encourage you to join us for worship one Sunday to experience St. John Grafton! We welcome your questions before or after visiting. We are also happy to arrange a private visit/tour of our church building to get familiar with our space and ask questions. Feel free to contact us at st.johnsecretary@hotmail.com or 262.377.0410 with questions, to request a follow-up via email or phone, or to set up an appointment with Pr. Jim.