St. John's Church began as St. Luke's Mission, a result of a rapidly growing village and a group of men who felt that spiritual guidance was needed. The year was 1827 and the Erie Canal was bringing progress along its path.
The first services were conducted by the Rev. Richard Salmon, a missionary who arrived by boat. Sometime shortly after he began preaching, the name was changed to St. John's. Apparently the founders were correct in believing that there was a need as the group became large enough to become a parish, and the Rev. Salmon became the first rector in 1828.
In the spring of 1832, St. John's Church began in earnest. A contract for $3,585 was granted to Joseph Nixon for enclosing the new church. Mr. Nixon resigned from the Vestry in order to accept the contract. The famous Medina sandstone, which forms many buildings far and wide, was taken from Oak Orchard Creek near Center Street and used to construct the church.
By the fall of 1838, an enclosed stone church had been erected and a portion of the basement readied for services. Christmas Eve, 1838, beheld a room decorated with pine wreaths and lit by tin chandeliers. The congregation sat on pine seats, painted slate color. This was the first service ever held in St. John's Church.
Things progressed well until the mid 1840's when the church felt the pinch of hard times. In fact, St. John's was without a rector for three years until the arrival of the Rev. Stearns, who remained seventeen years. Under his leadership the finances improved and work began on repairing and remodeling the interior of the church. Few at this time know that there was a gallery at the north end of the church, which was removed at this time.