St. John's Reformed Church was first organized in 1852 by a colony of Reformed people from Schaffhausen, Switzerland. They brought with them the Bible, the Heidelberg Catechism and their Song Book. Seeking to formally establish a church based on their traditions, they contacted Wendel Wasnich, a farmer and preacher who lived near Pulaski and served Reformed people of that community, and he agreed to serve. A group met in the home of Alexander Miller to draw up the congregational charter. Signing the charter were the twenty-five voting members of the congregation. For the first three years services were conducted in the homes of members.
St. John’s of Archbold, St. Jacob’s of Evansport (later named Zion’s Church), and St. Paul’s Church formed the Brush Creek Charge and were served by the same pastor. St. Paul’s was dissolved in 1901 with some members joining St. John’s, and Zion’s was dissolved in 1948 and united with St. John’s.
Upon the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Churches in 1934, the church’s name was changed to St. John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church. Then in 1957, upon the merger of the Evangelical & Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church, the local congregation became St. John’s United Church of Christ.
In 2006, the congregation voted to become an independent church with the new name of St. John’s Christian Church. This change resulted from continued differences of theology and practice with the denomination, and marked a new beginning seeking God’s direction and will for the congregation. At the same congregational vote, the decision was approved to become a member church of the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.
The congregation has grown from 25 original members in 1852 to over 600 members at one point, with a current membership of 449. Sunday services are held at 8:00 and 10:30, with Sunday school for all ages at 9:15.
St. John's possesses a strong sense of calling to ministries of mission and service. Since 1967 the congregation has supported the Comprehensive Rural Health Project in Jamkhed, India. A close partnership exists with Larry & Linda Rupp (Larry is from St. John's), who built and continue to coordinate the Kajiado Children's Home in Kenya. St. John’s supports the mission efforts of Tony & Leila Frank, serving in Sapiranga, Brazil; Tom & Megan serving off the coast of Africa; Judd & Becky McClarren, recently arriving to serve in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Keith & Cheryl Wyse, Langfang, China; Brian & Jamie Rauschenberger, Haiti; Jon & Rachel Doriot, Papua, New Guinea; Mackenzie Nofziger, Bangkok, Thailand; and Matt Pardi and Kyle Chase serving with Great Commissions ministries on college campuses. Support is given to some fifty mission partners and projects in Archbold, across Ohio, throughout the U.S., and around the world.
As the congregation grew, four church buildings were built; with most of the fourth and present building dedicated in 1957. The Parish Hall, Fireside Room, Kitchen and Chapel of the Cross were added in 1965 to create ample space for the church’s fellowship activities. The addition of one and one half acres of land to the church property and a new forty-eight-car parking lot was constructed in 1986. In 1987 the facilities were extensively remodeled and redecorated, providing new lighting, new adult chairs, carpet in the classrooms, quarry tile in the lower hallway, air conditioning in the Chapel and Parish Hall, and much more. New landscaping to add beauty to God's house and a new parking area for sixty cars were completed in 1995. In 1996, a Carillon system was added to the bell tower as a music ministry to the community. New non-stained glass windows were installed in 1998 and the renovation of all stained glass windows was completed in the fall of 1999. Early in 2001, 3.67 acres of land adjacent to the church’s south property line was purchased.
The building is used by countless groups beyond those of the congregation, including Youth for Christ, Scouting, Area High Schools, Weddings, Youth Teams, and Area Group Homes, to name a few.