NUMEROUS TIMES I’VE PHOTOGRAPHED these side-by-side country churches along Wisconsin State Highway 21 just west of Shennington:
Beautiful, aren’t they? St. John’s and St. Peter’s Lutheran. German and Danish.
Not once have I stopped to investigate why two houses of worship, seemingly from the same time period, are separated only by a cement parking lot.
I should stop, shouldn’t I?
For now, though, I must rely on information published on Waymarking.com. Because that info is copyrighted, you’ll need to click here to read what I learned.
Every place has a story.
If you know anything about these two churches, please submit a comment so that we can all learn more. I’m certain there are stories to be told.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Those are beautiful! What a neat story they must share!!!!
Yes, and I would like to get inside these churches. One of these trips…
Beautiful buildings, love love love the steeples!
I knew you would love these churches, Jackie. They remind me of the church I grew up in.
Beautiful! The black and white one makes it look like a vintage photo!
Yeah, I rather like how the b & w one turned out, too.
St. Peter’s Danish Lutheran Church, was built in the late 1800’s on land donated Mr. Fred M. Shenning as was St John’s German Lutheran Church and a one room school house, which is why these were built side by side. The school was torn down many years ago although I did attend that school until it was closed in the early 1960’s. I was a member of St Peter’s from 1953 through 1988 and can tell you that it is a wonderful little church. The German Lutheran church was closed in the 1980’s and the property was then given to St. Peter’s which is still an active church. This is the second location of St Peter’s which originally sat about 1 mile straight south (as a crow flies) at the current location of the cemetary. The church shares it’s minister with St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Camp Douglas located about 8 miles away.
Ralph, thanks so much for the detailed info. I’d love to get inside both churches some day.
Really beautiful churches and interesting.
That they are. Now, to get inside these duo churches.
St Peter’s is kept locked now, but when driving past if you see a car just stop and see if it’s open. The church is beautiful, but my favorite part is the altar which has a painting of Jesus lifting Peter from the water. One interesting fact, the painting cost more than the church when it was built. The stained glass windows are also spectacular, I can still remember their vivid colors.
The altar and windows sound beautiful, definitely worth seeing. I love old country churches.
If I see a car by the church and have time, I’ll stop.
Wow, what a post. I love it. I never have seen two churches side by side. In one church in Finland, I have seen two pulpits side by side, but churches no. It is interesting that You have photographed them during many years. If You do not know what is so called picture church, then You are welcome to visit my newest post.
Good to hear from you. I know you love photographing churches as much as I do.
You will be amazed the next time you drive by. We are currently in the middle of a large building renovation adding a front to St. Peter’s and are currently holding services in St. John’s. Next summer we will be celebrating our 125th year in St. Peter’s. All are welcome to join us on any given Sunday. Check out our website or Facebook Page St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Shennington WI
I will be sure to look the next time we drive by your duo churches. Thanks for stopping by with an update.
My uncle, Dewey Alvin Olesen, told us that his Father, Nels Olesen, was one of the men who built St. Peter’s. When my family attended a service around 1999, when Alviin turned 100, the minister announced Alvin’s presence and said that judging by Alvin’s longevity and the church’s good condition, Nels must have been a very good builder.
What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing this with us.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in the Spring of 2015. New renovations included handicapped accessible bathrooms on the main level, an elevator chair lift and a much needed additional “narthex” area. During the summer construction process, we were ever so fortunate to set up St. John’s Church and worship right next door until St. Peter’s was completed on November 22nd, 2015. So the next time y’all drive by you will find St. Peter’s (the church on the right, as you’re looking at it from the road) will not look the same. Beautiful, loving church, with a beautiful loving church family.
Thank you for this update, Christy. I especially like your assessment of “a beautiful loving church family.”
Isn’t St. Peter’s the church on the left as you face them? JO
Ooops. Sorry, guess I don’t know my right from my left. Yes. St. Peter’s is on the left as you are looking at them from the road! My apologies.
My son and I drive by these churches every day as he takes me to radiation therapy in Tomah, WI from Juneau County. We always mention the two sibling churches and wonder about their stories. Thanks to your postings, now we know! Thank you all.
Dolores, you are welcome. Those sibling churches are so beautiful. I don’t see them anymore, not since our daughter and her husband moved from Appleton to Madison several years ago. How kind of your son to drive you to radiation therapy. I’m sorry you’re on this journey and pray for your healing.