St. John’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1901 after local residents gathered to discuss the need for a Lutheran congregation in the Cheltenham area. In the spring of 1904, the new church opened at Stahr Road and Park Avenue (across from the current Elkins Park Library). The congregation grew so quickly that a larger church was built at the current site on the corner of Old York Road and Melrose Avenue. It was dedicated on April 13, 1913.

Art, music and drama were important to St. John’s from its early days. The education of children in Sunday school and outreach ministries have been highlights of the ministry of St. John’s. Ecumenical and interfaith relationships have also been important to the congregation.

Pastors of St. John’s

Rev. Charles G. Spieker 1901-1910
Rev. Charles J. Gable 1910-1931
Rev. Frederick Nolde (interim) 1931-1932
Rev. Dr. Kenneth P. Otten 1932-1965
Rev. Jan C. Walker 1965-1969
Rev. Charles A. Gills 1967-1978
Rev. John D. Kinard (interim) 1978-1979
Rev. E. Carl Zimmerman 1979-1990
Rev. Kevin V. Hilgendorf (interim) 1990-1991
Rev. Margaret Twesme Marks 1991-1999
Rev. Stephen Seibel (interim) 1999-2001
Rev. Dr. John B. Hougen 2001-2013
Rev. Donna M. Wright (interim) 2013-2015
Rev. Linnéa K. Clark  2015-2019