St. John's German Lutheran Church celebrated its 150th anniversary on August 1, 2009. The church was founded by Rev. Karl Freidrich Jungck. A German immigrant, the Reverend Jungck arrived in Northeast Iowa from Indiana in 1854 to perform missionary work. Jungck contacted the Lutheran authorities out of concern no one was ministering to the German immigrants in the area.
In 1856, Jungck moved his family from Indiana to Ridgeway in a covered wagon. Apart-time farmer, Jungck and his family ministered to the Germans in the area from their home until a proper church was constructed in 1873, with the help of local stonemason Peter Reis.
In 1881, Jungck left Ridgeway for Walla Walla, Washington. He was followed by the Rev. E.N. Heinman, who took up residence in Cresco, as there was no parsonage near St. John's. He eventually established Immanuel Lutheran in Cresco, after which time St. John's was mostly abandoned, with the exception of special occasions.
What is left now is a beautiful structure full of history. Seeing this stone church set against a blue sky is a beautiful and photo worthy experience. While viewing the church, you can stroll through the old cemetery that dates back to the time of the congregation's existence.,Currently, the Preservation Society, formed in 1989, is taking steps to save the church and help restore it so future generations can enjoy a piece of its history.