the History of St. James Lutheran Church

St.James Verona


St. James is located in downtown Verona, where we have been since 1886. We are an active, caring community, with a rich tradition as well as fresh, innovative ideas about what it means to be a Church today. At St. James, we focus on living in and sharing the love of Jesus and strive to be a place for people wherever they are on their journey. We use three words to describe this dynamic: Receive, Grow and Give. Love is always Received as a gift. This love invites us to Grow together in relationships of mutual care and understanding. As we receive and grow, this same love calls us into the world to Give ourselves to others. We are a part of the ELCA, and we invite you to become a part of our faith community.

St. James History

The charter for St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church (originally known by its German title, Evangelical Lutheran St. Jacobus Gemeinde) was drawn up on March 19, 1886. Prior to that event, services were conducted in German settlers’ homes by a pastor from Madison who served several church congregations in the area as well as the fledgling Lutheran groups. The local assemblage purchased property on South Main Street located in the village of Verona Corners (established in 1847). A small white frame building served the congregation until a larger one was planned two decades later. In the intervening years, a two-story parsonage had been built in 1895 for the arrival of a permanent pastor. It was doubled in size four years later to accommodate a classroom and the pastor’s growing family. The present building’s cornerstone was laid in 1908 with the completion and dedication of the church occurring in June 1910.

As the church's membership continued to expand, changes were needed. A new ranch-style parsonage replaced the first one, constructed in mid-1953 and dedicated on November 8. The first major expansion to the church was completed in 1964 with a second addition in the mid-1990s. The most recent building project was completed in 2018 and it incorporated the popular St. James Preschool. Through all the remodels, the 1910 beautiful sanctuary of the church has retained most of its original design -from the impressive altar with its hand-carved wooden spires and Lord’s Supper sculpture to the exquisite stained-glass windows.

St. James was originally a member of the ALC (American Lutheran Church). On January 1, 1988, the ALC merged with the LCA (Lutheran Church of America) and the AELC (Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches) to form the ELCA of which St. James is a member.

Current member families are from Verona as well as many surrounding communities. We invite you to be part of our tradition.

St.James Verona

We welcome you to join us.

  • You can contact one of our pastor, Peter Narum, any time. Our members and visitors come from Verona, Madison, Fitchburg, Oregon, New Glarus, Belleville, Mt. Horeb, Evansville and beyond. At St. James we are not perfect, we are forgiven! We are not important and powerful, we are loved! That is the Good News we have from Jesus.

    Join us in receiving, growing, and giving in Jesus’ name.

St.James Verona