St. John’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1903, with the first building completed in 1906 at the corner of Prairie and Linden. St. John’s continued at this location until 1923, when a new church building was dedicated at the corner of Park and Wilmette Avenues, where the church resides to this day.
For many years, services were conducted in both English and German. This continued until the 1940s when turnover in the local population led to dwindling attendance at the German service.
After World War II, membership at the church expanded along with the educational and social activities supported by that membership. In 1951 a new parish house was constructed that included a lower level filled with classrooms and meetings paces and an upper level gymnasium. In addition, the current tower was also completed.
In 1976, St. John’s voted to leave the Missouri Synod for the newly formed Association of Evangelical Churches (AELC). In 1987, the AELC merged with another Lutheran church body to form the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA), of which St. John’ continues to belong to this day.
As a member of the ELCA, St. John’s shares in the collective work of the larger church to support local, national and global ministries such as Lutheran Disaster Response, the ELCA Malaria Campaign and ELCA World Hunger.
In the 1980s community and global outreach really began to grow at St. John’s with the founding of the Stephen Ministry. From the sewing of quilts for Lutheran World Relief to hunger walks for CROP and Brother Dano’s Sandwich Ministry (which supports The Night Ministry of Chicago), Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity, Holy Family Ministries and many others. Two other significant additions to the church have included the Bradford Organ which was dedicated in 1990 and the handicap accessible entryway that was constructed in 2000.
The 2017 renovation created new spaces for welcome and worship, as well as a meeting places for classes, local schools, ministry partners, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We continue that mission and ministry in serving those who are hungry in body and spirit, welcoming in the wideness of grace and connection of community in Christ.