The first Lutheran worship services in this area were held at the home of early German settler J.E. Pietzsch, who had moved from Austin County. In 1880 a small school and church building was erected on land donated by John Bartlett, for whom the nearby town of Bartlett was named.
St. John Lutheran Church was formally organized on December 16, 1883. A year later the Rev. Immanuel Glatzle arrived to become the first resident pastor. By 1896 the congregation had acquired more land and erected a small white frame sanctuary. All written records were destroyed in a 1922 fire which burned the parsonage and two outbuildings. Larger facilities were needed by 1931, so a new church structure was built that year. Dedication services were held January 10, 1932. On August 12, 1951, the congregation dedicated its new pipe organ, which at the time was the largest in any Texas Lutheran church.
From its beginning St. John Lutheran Church has served the spiritual and educational needs of the surrounding communities. Although the last German service was conducted in 1942, the church continues to reflect the ideals and traditions of its founders.