Our Story

Zion Lutheran Hillsboro has been spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Sandy Valley and surrounding communities for over 160 years. Our church has survived many challenges throughout its rich history - including a fire that destroyed the entire sanctuary!

“God's Word is our great heritage, just as Zion's heritage is a Godly example of the many blessings bestowed on it by our Heavenly Father, both in our material and spiritual blessings.” - Donna Krysl, Zion Member

A Quick Timeline of Zion’s Rich History in Hillsboro, MO.

1853 Zion Lutheran Church was officially organized in the Fall: October 23rd
1853 1st Parsonage built
1855 Church land was purchased on February 15, from C. Huber for $ 1.00 
1856 1st Confirmation Class
1859 1st Church Structure: Dedication - July 4th
1881 Mission work was started in Festus, Mo. in August.
1883 Concordia Seminary gifted their old bell to us
1898 Steeple was added to Original Church structure.
1901 A new parsonage structure was built to replace the old one during the vacancy.
1902 An Organ was installed into the Church.
1903 1st School House Constructed: ready for the Fall School year.
1903 October 20th / 50th Anniversary Celebration of Zion / School Dedication {3 Services held}

909 July 4th / 50th Anniversary of the Church Building 
1912 Original Church was struck by lightening and burned on June 16th.
1912 Worship Services were held in the School Hall.
1913 Cornerstone laid on March 30th
1913 Current Church Facility Dedicated: October 26th
1915 Zion’s Youth group was formed. {Spring of the year}
1925 Zion Lutheran Ladies Aid was organized: January 19th
1925 A second room was added to the School building.
1928 October 6th / 75th Anniversary Celebration of Zion - 25th Anniversary of School
1928 English Language was now exclusively spoken}
1935 A Pipe Organ was installed in the Sanctuary.
1937 Electricity was brought to the Parsonage, School, and Church.
1947 The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod: new name is established.
1953 October 4th / 100th Anniversary Celebration of Zion
1956 The Pipe Organ was dismantled and an electric one was installed: January 15th.
1956 Zion Lutheran School closes in the Spring.

1956 Annual Chicken Dinner replaces closing school picnic: May 20th.
1960 W 1st Vacation Bible School was planned in July.
1961 Current Parsonage was completed.
1964 Holy Communion celebrated every weekend: May 3rd.
1969 Sanctuary redecorations dedicated: November 2nd.
1973 Doctrinal Controversy over ‘what’ Holy Scripture is hurts Zion
1978 October 15th / 125th Anniversary Celebration of Zion
1992 Monday Evening Worship started: January 6th
1993 New Educational Wing Dedicated: October 24th
1995 Saturday Evening Worship started: January 8th
1997 150th Anniversary of the LCMS.
1998 A Second Sunday Morning Worship was started: June 7th
1999 Church Elevator Dedication: August 29th
2000 Pavilion is constructed: November 5th Memorial Dedicated.
2000 Jefferson County Lutheran School Association formed: December 16th.
2001 150th observance of Holy Communion through Zion’s Ministry: March 25th.
2002 150th observance of LWML, LLL, Walther, LYF auxillries at Zion: April 28th.
2002 Worship in Educational Wing while sanctuary was being remodeled
2002 150th observance of Baptism through Zion's Ministry: October 27th.
2002 Retaining Wall completed for Recreation/Playground use: November 11th.
2002 150th observance of Christmas at Zion: December 22nd.
2003 150th observance of Marriage through Zion's Ministry: January 19th.
2003 150th observance of Confirmation: May 4th.
2003 150th observance of Professional Church Workers: July 13th.
2003 150th observance of Parochial Schools: August 24th.
2003 Christ the Vine Lutheran School opens with 11 children: August 20th.
2003 October 26th / 150th Anniversary Celebration of Zion
2004 Opening of Christ the Vine Lutheran School 
2006 Christ the Vine moves from temp location in Pevely to newly constructed school building in Herculaneum
2007 Closing of Christ the Vine Lutheran School
2007 Zion’s 1st Annual Sausage Dinner in March
2012 New LSB hymnals were purchased
2013 Old School Hall is remodeled to include a room for the Youth Group and a Zion Museum.
2013 New sound system was installed
2013 6 youth attended the LCMS National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, TX.
2013 Zion’s annual Peanut Stabs are resurrected

2013 Old School Hall rededicated as Grace Haus

2014 Cemetery was expanded
2015 1st Annual Grace Day was offered to the community

2016 The Congregation remodeled the church parsonage
2016 The Beautiful Feet Project is started in the Hillsboro R-3 School District

2017 The Beautiful Feet Project expanded to the Festus R-6 School District

2018 Grace Day 365 started in partnership with LFCS in the Hillsboro R-3 School District

2018 The Beautiful Feet Project expanded into the Dunklin R-5 and Grandview C-2 School Districts

2018 Grace Day was renamed the Jefferson County Lutheran Grace Day to represent the now collective effort of five Jefferson County Lutheran congregations

2021 The Blessing Bags ministry was formed