St. John’s 2019 Facilities Master Plan:
A Note From Pastor Waters
For the first 70 years of its existence, Boerne had no Lutheran church. Boerne had been founded by the Freidenker, the “Free Thinkers,” many of whom saw little need for organized religion and looked on established churches with distrust. The Lutherans in and around Boerne were served by pastors who came riding out of San Antonio on horseback. Finally, on October 27, 1929, a group of Lutherans gathered in Gilliat Hall on Main Street (now Pixie’s) and chartered St. John Lutheran Church. Two days later the stock market crashed. But these were German Lutherans, nothing if not stubborn, and neither Black Tuesday nor seven decades of waiting would stop them.
Within three years, they built the Historic Chapel, a place of their own for worship. Four years later, they built the Shepherd House, a home for their pastor. Both those buildings are testaments to their faith and icons of our identity as St. John Lutheran Church. But they’re old now, and they both need major work. Our Facilities Master Plan preserves the hard work of those who have gone before us, sacrificed so much, and waited so long to worship the Lord in Boerne. Our Plan builds on what they have done and preserves it for the future.
Our Plan also takes into account that times have changed. Since 2001, our congregation has worshipped in the Sanctuary and gathered in the Family Life Center on the other side of Turner Street. An Education Wing was added in 2014. Our Vision for the future sees “the whole church meeting in the same building on the same block, following a plan to optimize and improve our facilities.” The updated Facilities Master Plan will preserve the heritage from our past while building for our future. The Plan envisions dedicated space for children and youth so that our facilities will be attractive to the many families moving into Boerne. The Plan unplugs the bottlenecks we experience on Sunday mornings—especially with the Family Life Center, separating the recreation and fellowship activities into different spaces. In short, the Plan helps us “optimize and improve the facilities” we’ve been given.
For the first 70 years, there was no Lutheran church in Boerne. Ninety years ago, a small group of dedicated Lutherans changed that. Now is our time. Let’s do what we can to ensure that there will be a thriving Lutheran church in Boerne for generations to come.
Pastor Eric Waters