On August 2, 1942, thirty-seven men and women gathered together at the YMCA to sign the constitution of St. John American Lutheran Church. You can find these members (among others) named on the west lawn in the Memory Garden.

That tiny congregation had a vision of ministry in the northwest area of Sioux Falls, which they faithfully pursued. As the congregation grew it was necessary to find a larger space to worship and so they began worshiping at the History Club on Phillips Avenue near downtown Sioux Falls.

The congregation continued to pursue their vision of growth and outreach. Soon plans were made to build a church to house the growing congregation. In 1944, a building site at 15th and Lake was purchased. By 1948, the chapel from the Sioux Falls Air Base had been purchased, moved on to the site and enlarged. Our first church home was dedicated on June 6, 1948.

St. John American Lutheran Church grew rapidly. By 1954 the congregation had a new vision and began making plans to build a new church.  A building site at 13th Street and Jefferson Avenue was purchased. On May 15th of 1960, dedication services were held in our present church building which was designed by the revered local architect, Ward Whitwam, who specialized in Mid-Century Modern architecture throughout South Dakota.

Our Vision

To be a thriving Biblical (Word-centered) community which transforms lives, lifts up dreams, and brings healing to all the hurting places by growing committed followers of Jesus Christ.

Our Values


Believing that “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans10.17), St. John exists to proclaim Christ crucified and risen to the end that all its members and friends may grow in Christian faith. 


We are dedicated to living out the gospel by serving one another and neighbors in any need, but especially feeding hungry people, body and soul, in our immediate neighborhood, in the larger community, and in God’s World.  


We seek to build a sense of acceptance and belonging among all members and friends of St. John American Lutheran Church. 

Mutual Support

At St. John American Lutheran Church we seek to foster a spirit of full cooperation recognizing that we accomplish our best when we are connected, supportive of each other, and interdependent with one another under the guidance of God and his Son, Jesus Christ.


At St. John American Lutheran Church we foster a climate of mutual respect, equality and trust among St. John staff, leaders, and congregate members, and by extension to the whole world as we engage all of God’s people in our daily life.   


At St. John American Lutheran Church we as congregate members provide a place of learning for all God’s Children including Youth and Adults, encouraging them to use their God-given gifts, talents and passions to carry out their respective ministries in the Church, the Community and God’s World.

Mission  Outreach

From within our congregation outward, to our neighbors, community, state, nation and world, we are fully committed to answering the Great Commission of our Lord to make disciples of all.  We believe that our lay members can and will answer His call to share the good news.


Using our unique gifts to God’s glory, we will strive for excellence in all our undertakings in His name, encouraging everyone to contribute to the best of their abilities. 

Lutheran Tradition

We are unapologetically Lutheran, providing worship and community grounded in the Word and embracing Lutheran tradition.


We strive to live out our commitment to God, the church, and each other by using our gifts and talents to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, and by expressing our recognition and appreciation of the contributions of others.

Our Purpose

St. John exists to welcome people into the presence of God, to equip them to be passionate disciples of Jesus Christ, and to send them out in the power of the Holy Spirit to serve in the world.