The members had extreme difficulty agreeing on the exact location for their church (remember the town of Charter Oak was not yet in existence). Acres were bought here and acres were bought there, only to be resold again. The problem was finally settled when the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built a line to Sioux City and established the village of Charter Oak in 1887. Several members immediately purchased 2 lots for the congregation. A third lot was presented to the congregation by the Railroad Company with the condition that a church be erected thereon within one year. Soon the members were in full agreement.
A church was built in 1888; it was 30 by 50 feet. On October 21, 1888 the 21st Sunday after Trinity, the church was dedicated to the service of the Lord. Rev. W.T. Strobel of Denison conducted the German service in the forenoon, and Rev. M. Herrmann of Grant Township, preached the sermon in the afternoon in the language of the country. Already at this early date the English language was used by St. John Lutheran Church making known the grace of God in Christ Jesus. The church was erected at a total cost of $1,399.00! During this same year the cemetery, one mile north of Charter Oak, was purchased and laid out in lots.