St. James Lutheran Church

23932 West Highway 290

The History of St. James Lutheran Church

The First Harper Lutheran congregation was officially organized on March 9, 1913.It was presided over by the Rev. B. Schleifer. A Mrs. Sophie Klein donated a lot on  which to build the Lutheran church. It was accepted on March 23, 1913.

At a congregational meeting held on January 11, 1914, in the Methodist church along with other business, two motions made and carried were: that the official name of the newly organized Lutheran church in Harper be St. James, and that the constitution recommended by the Joint Synod of Iowa and other states be adopted.

A building program was soon underway. Required for the building were 20 wagon loads of foundation rock hauled a distance of four miles from the August Ernst Jr. Ranch; and 25 wagon loads of lumber using four horses or mules per wagon. The lumber was hauled from Kerrville and required two days for each load. The total cost of lumber was $ 1,135.15. The building which was Harper's newest and largest  church building was dedicated Sunday, July 26, 1914.With an overflowing crowd in attendance. Many had to stand outside the windows and listen to the dedication  services which began by singing "Now Thank We All Our God".