Our History

Rooted in Christ, Growing to Serve

Zion Lutheran Church was chartered by German Lutherans on April 10, 1859 when a total of 21 members signed the constitution which began Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Today Zion’s membership has increased nearly one hundred fold.



The original church was built in 1860 on the corner of Johnson and Bloomington Street (facing Bloomington). The narthex and bell tower were added in 1875 and the apse and transept were not added until 1889.  In 1893, the parsonage was built to the east of the church as seen on the right of the photo.

Zion’s current facility was dedicated in 1965.

Initially Zion was affiliated with the Missouri Synod and later belonged to the American Lutheran Church. The American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches merged into the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in 1988.  Zion became a member of the ELCA and locally, a part of the Southeast Iowa Synod.



The Good Shepherd window from the original church dates from the 1880's and hangs in the gallery.









The Stevens-Moore Tracker organ built in 1852 graces Zion's Nave.

For a complete history of Zion, click on each chapter: Chapter 1 & 2 (1837-1870), Chapter 3 (1870-1910), Chapter 4 (1911-1945), Chapter 5 (1945-1960), Chapter 6 (1960-2010), Appendices