St. John’s has been serving the spiritual needs of the local Episcopal community for more than a century. Beginning as Hall on Sacramento Street, Lodi. Unfortunately, this endeavor met with small success and the mission disbanded in a few months.
In 1906, St. John’s Mission was established and plans set to build a new church. The building, completed in 1910 and located on the corner of W. Locust and N. Lee streets, was built of exterior redwood shingles and interior redwood paneling on the walls and vaulted ceiling.
In the early 1920’s, the guild hall was built and our Sunday school rooms were designed, and the Episcopal women’s groups were extremely busy giving suppers, teas, card parties, men’s club luncheons, bazaars, quilt sales, and monthly food sales. In 1928, these ladies began fund drives to purchase the stained glass window over the altar; by Easter Sunday, 1933, the window was complete.
In 1945, St. John’s Hut was formed. This “rummage sale” store was very popular in Lodi, and proceeds contributed to the purchase of church furniture, a home for the priest, and maintenance of church property. A most reliable outreach program, The Hut served the public for 50 years, and created fellowship and a means for continuous upgrading of church facilities.
As our congregation grew, there was no more room for expansion on W. Locust Street, and so with community approval, the congregation’s efforts, and the guidance of Fr. Rick Matters and others, a plan was developed to purchase property on South Lower Sacramento Road, build a new, larger church, and move the much-loved little redwood church from its old location. In 2002, the new sanctuary was completed, and now St. John’s is on the edge of town with room for expansion.
The design of the new building incorporates contemporary interpretations of Gothic architectural elements such as buttresses, high-pitched roofs, and arches. Large windows and horizontal sunshades complete the 450-seat sanctuary. Adding to the interior beauty are six beautiful rood screens designed and woven by Andrea Matters. The wood for the interior redwood-sheathed steel beams came from the hundred year-old redwood tree which sheltered the little church on Locust Street for many years. The alms basins were turned out of this very wood as well.
The old redwood church, moved to its new site, now stands proudly on a little hill behind the new church. A cornerstone of St. John’s faith and courage, it is now called, “The Chapel,” and morning and evening prayer are celebrated there on weekdays, as well as a midweek noon service. It is also available for small weddings and funerals.
Rectors at St. John’s
1900: The Rev. D O Kelley
1910: The Rev. W H Hawken
1913: The Rev. WL Greenwood – first resident vicar
1916: The Rev. Verleger
1918: The Rev. GDB Stewart
1924: The Rev. David Gillimor
1929: The Rev. EA Shapland
1945: The Rev. Norman Young
1948: The Rev. John T Raymond
1964: The Rev. Stuart Anderson
1970: The Rev. Ray Knapp
1989: The Rev. Frederick Dougherty
1989: The Rev. Norman Abrams
1993: The Rev. Richard Matters
2009: The Rev. Harold Clinehens, Jr.