St. John’s began as a German Lutheran congregation in March of 1908 under the leadership of Pastor Ivan Dietrich. The congregation grew and thrived concurrent with the success of the American Bridge Company for which Ambridge is named. The church primarily served the German residents and immigrants of the Ambridge area as one of the many ethnic churches established in the borough. Services were held in both German and English during the early life of the congregation.
Under the leadership of Rev. Leonard L. Haseley, beginning in 1928, St. John’s flourished and grew to a congregation of over 900 members. A new Sunday School wing was built to accommodate the growing need for adult and child education in the church. This wing provided space for various Bible classes, Confirmation, a food pantry, fellowship area, lending library, and a sewing group. Rev. Haseley and his wife, Gladys, were an integral part of the Ambridge community where he served as pastor at St. John’s until his retirement in 1969.
St. John’s continued its Gospel work under the leadership of other long-tenured pastors including Revs. Cletus Fahrion (24 years) and Gordon Strunk (13 years). St. John’s carries on the legacy of those who came before, honoring their service while always looking forward to serving Christ in the Ambridge community.
Beginning in March 2018, St. John’s welcomed Pastor Jason Coley to serve alongside them following the retirement of Rev. Gordon Strunk. Also during 2018, St. John’s affiliated themselves with the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). The LCMC places an emphasis on classical Lutheran theology while recognizing the urgent need for evangelism and church planting in communities around the world. St. John’s continues to partner with local ministries to care for their neighbors and neighborhood, while sharing the Good News of the Gospel. St. John’s currently houses and partners with The Ladle and the Hearth and Narcotics Anonymous for these purposes.
St. John’s is glad to be a part of the revitalization of Ambridge and looks forward to the good work that the Lord is doing in their midst!