[Rundweg Religion]

Dorsten's History - Station 11: The Protestant Church of St Johns's

The ringing of the bells announces it: The congregation of the church service in the Protestant Church of St John's (evangelische Johanneskirche) gather in front of a glass plaque - i.e. in front of a further one of the History Station Plaques of Dorsten.

As a consequence of publicly declaring his 95 theses on the 31st October 1517, Martin Luther caused the foundation of the "evanglische Kirche" Protestant/Reformed Church. However, it wasn't only the occasion of Reformation Day "Reformationstag" that was the invitation to a historical overview but also the official opening of the new History Station plaque by Lambert Lütkenhorst: "This church has been a symbol for the community of our town, for over 100 years." ("Seit über 100 Jahren setzt diese Kirche hier ein Zeichen für das Gemeinwesen unserer Stadt." Therefore, on this historic date, a memorial to it should be erected.

The almost 150-year history of the St John's Church "Johanneskirche" was compiled by pupils of the History Club of the grammar school "Gymnasium Petrinum". The most important dates are referred to, in the summary. The first, for instance, was 1854, when the barn belonging to an inn was used as a church for 200 people. By 1871, the first full parish position had been granted by Münster. The first church service after the war, was in 1947. The nun, Sister Paula designed the pulpit and the christening font, as part of the renovation of the altar.

The Priest "Pfarrer Henning Briesemeister" (chairman of the deaconry) summarised the meaning, in the broader sense, of the memorial plaque, with the words "Whoever wishes to shape the present and the future, must be aware of their own past", ("Wer die Gegenwart und die Zukunft gestalten möchte, muss um seine Geschichte wissen"). He regretted having forgotten to bring along a bottle of champagne for the "christening". To which the headmaster of the Petrinum Grammar School reacted with "No way, no way!" "Bloß nicht, bloß nicht!" In the church hall, over snacks and drinks, the Reformation Day "Reformationstag" and the Christians who had initiated and been involved in the founding of St John's Church ("Johanneskirche") were remembered.
Translator's Note: The original German text, that can be read fully on this page was from the local newspaper "Dorstener Zeitung" (Dorstener Zeitung, 2.11.2002)

In the year 1854



The first Protestant church service (evangelischer Gottesdienst) in Dorsten takes place In the court room of the old district law-court building. The 200-strong church congregation acquire the inn "Zur Stadt Köln" at the corner of the roads "Recklinghäuser Straße and Suibertusstraße) and convert the barn of the inn into the church.



The parish is granted a full parish position. From now on, Dorsten belongs to the newly-created ecclesiastical diocese of Münster.



The protestant "evangelische" primary school, built next to the church, opens with two classes.

Emil von Behring develops a serum against diptheria and tetanus.

In the year 1904




The Gustav-Adolf-Association donates a bell, dating form the year 1456, to the church congregation, on the occasion of the consecration of St John's Church "Johanneskirche".



Belgian soldiers occupy the church hall during the Ruhr Occupation.

The Priest




The head representative of the Westphalian Protestant Church, "Präses Koch" orders the priests of Westphalia not to participate in the swearing of the oath to Hitler.

Translator's Note: The German word "Präses" is only used in certain areas of Germany and signifies the head represntative of a diocese. Other areas have Bishops.



At the end of the second World War, the church is almost completely destroyed and can no longer be used for church services.



Following the completion of the restorative work, the congregation celebrates the first post-war church service in their church.



The parish has been in existence for 100 years. During the ceremony, the new organ -manunfactured by the Breil Company, based is Dorsten - is inaugurated.

In the Sixties

In den 60er Jahren




The church parish becomes part of the new parish of Gladbeck-Bottrop.



As part of the renovation of the church, the nun, Sister Paula (Tisa von der Schulenberg) designs the altar, the pulpit and the christening font.

After 30 years of being at war with each other, Israel and Egypt agree to a peace agreement.




The addition of the new steeple means that the church regains its previous form.


Daten und Fakten

Eröffnung - 31st October 2002

Adresse - The Protestant St John's Church in "Südwall" . ("Ev. Johanneskirche Südwall")

Geodaten - 51°39'36.7 6°58'05.1

The Offical Opening and Presentation Celebrations on 31.10.2002

The Priests, "Pfarrer Lutterbeck" and "Pfarrer Briesemeister", together with the Mayor, "Bürgermeister Lambert Lütkenhorst" at the official opening and Reformation celebrations in 2002.

Der Turm

A General View of the Church

Gesamtansicht der Kirche

The church with the new church hall