Our History


 History highlights:  1848 - 2019 


September 1848:  The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of St. John of Elk Grove, Cook County, Illinois is organized.


August 4, 1848:  Documents signed bequeathing thirty acres to the church.


December 26, 1848:  The congregation’s first chapel is dedicated.


January 1, 1849:  The congregation welcomes its first Pastor: Rev. Clements Klein.


1850:  Rev. John G. Kuntz becomes our second "Shepherd".


1853:  St. John affiliates with The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.


1853:  Rev. Karl H. Sallmann becomes pastor and teacher. -

A New, second church is built. - The parsonage and all church records are destroyed by fire. - First teacher called is:  Mr. C. Laufer.


1860:  Fourth pastor accepts our call: Rev. William Bartling.


1862:  The arrival of new teacher:  Mr. Samuel Garbisch.


February 22, 1863:  Rev. Henry Schmidt takes over as Pastor.


December 20, 1863:  The first pipe organ is purchased.


November of 1864:   A new school building is erected and dedicated.


1868:  Rev. William Dorn assumes his duties as our Pastor.


1873:  The first steeple is added to the church built in 1854, and a church bell weighing 1,000 pounds is installed.


August 2, 1876:  Rev. Herman Ramelow is installed as Pastor.


July 26, 1891:  Rev. J. Henry Haake is installed as Pastor.


September 4, 1892:   New Church building dedicated. This church, in  its basic form, continues to serve as our present church facility.


1892:   Church incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.


September 4, 1898:   St. John celebrates its Golden Jubilee.


1901:   A new school is constructed.


1904:  A north wing is added to the parsonage.


1905:  St. John welcomes Rev. Julius Drexler as Pastor.


March of 1906:  New teacher, Mr. Paul Meeske, comes to St. John.


1907:  Church walls and ceiling covered with decorated tin-work.


1908:   A new Burlington organ is purchased for $1,250.


March 26, 1911:  Rev. Louis J.C. Millies installed as Pastor.


March 30, 1913:  Rev. Ferdinand Gehrs installed as pastor.


October of 1921:   A new, ornate wooden altar and life-size statue of Jesus replaces the original altar and the painting behind it.    


September 2, 1923:  The 75th Anniversary of St. John is celebrated.


1923:  The first worship services are conducted in English.


September 5, 1926:   School remodeled, and an addition built containing a second classroom and lavatory, and is dedicated.  


August, 1927:  Mr. William Heuser is called as a teacher and principal.


September 26, 1948:  The congregation joyously celebrates its Centennial.


October 3, 1948:  Services held honoring the anniversary of the school. - Teacher Meeske is recognized for 50 years as a teacher.


May of 1951:  The “St. John Couples Club” is organized.


February 1, 1955:  Pastor Gehrs and his family move into the newly constructed parsonage.


September 16, 1956:   Rev. Waldemar B. Streufert is installed.


July 1, 1958:  A new Church Constitution is adopted.


April 19, 1959:  A spacious new school is built and dedicated.


January of 1960:  The last regular worship service conducted in

German. Services from now on would be conducted only in English.


April 30,1961:   A new Verlinden pipe organ is installed.


1963:   A church addition is built which included washrooms, a cloak room, lounge and a larger narthex.  Exterior covered with brick and aluminum facade. Ceiling tiles and wood paneling covers the tin- work of the church interior.  New pews added and twelve art-glass windows installed. A large wooden cross now graces the altar.


May 16, 1963:  The church is re-dedicated.


April 21, 1970:  Mt. Prospect annexes our property.


October 28, 1973:  The new school addition is dedicated.


1973:  The 125th Anniversary of St. John is celebrated.


May 26, 1974:  Rev. Theodore Staudacher is installed as Pastor. 

- Also in 1974, St John granted the Mount Prospect Historical Society

usage of the old school building as its first permanent home.  


January 19, 1975:  Women are granted voting status in the Voter’s Assembly.


February of 1975:  The “Rolling Eagles Camping Club” is formed.


July 3, 1976:  The “Old Schoolhouse Museum” is dedicated as a Bicentennial project.  


1977:  St. John’s highest recorded membership with 978 baptized and 818 confirmed members.


1978:  St. John celebrates 130th Anniversary. - The lower level of the school is finished and a new kitchen installed.


April 5, 1979:  The eighty-seven year old steeple topples over.


November 2, 1980:   Rev. Robert E. Kass installed as Pastor.


November 12, 1980:   A new church steeple is erected.


1983:  Our 135th Anniversary is celebrated. -  Major refurbishing of the church is accomplished.


1988:  Our 140th Anniversary as a Congregation is celebrated.


November 1, 1992:   Rev. Jeff G. Gavin is installed as Pastor of St. John. He begins variety in worship styles and designs a logo and theme for the congregation's identity.


July of 1994:  Our first participation in the Mt. Prospect 4th of July Parade.


1997:   School enrollment reaches all time high: 166 students. Additional classrooms are built; a hot lunch program started; St. John enters the “Technology Age” with new computers, E-mail, FAX, and an award winning home page on the Internet. - The church starts a video/media library and a video-tape ministry. 


November 7, 1997:   A successful “Reformation Festival” is held.


1998:  St. John celebrates its 150th Anniversary with the theme:  REMEMBER, REJOICE, RENEW. Special guest speakers and events

during the year lead to a grand celebration service and banquet on

September 27. 


1999:  A total reconstruction of the interior of our school was completed in time for the start of the new school year, with a dedication ceremony 

on October 10.


2000:  After more than 25 years the Mt. Prospect Historical Society chose to vacate the old school building. - Immanuel Bible Church (Korean) is founded and meets in the old school building.


2001:  A Korg synthesizer is purchased to enhance our worship


2001: A new Congregational Constitution is approved.


2002: A remodled enhancement of the church chancel with new lectern/

pulpit, communion rails and kneelers, cross and more was an Easter

Sunday surprise. - Also new glass entrance doors replaced the old wooden doors. 


June 2004:  The St. John School was closed. Plans to sell eastside property, so to build a new church facility are established. - A local developer's plan to construct townhomes on our 8.3 acre eastside

property was accepted by the Voters in September.


2005:   Architectural plans for a new church facility were accepted by the Voters in July. - The approval process for the townhome development ultimately is rejected by the Village. - We continue to seek land sale, development and construction of a new church facility.


October 2006:  A recognition dinner was conducted for Music Director, Jim Vyhanek, for 20 years of service to St John.


2007:  The dedication of new hymnals: The Lutheran Service Book. -Maranatha Church (Hispanic) begins worshiping in the school building.

- A celebration and banquet for Pastor Jeff Gavin's 25th Anniversary in ministry was held in October. 


2008:  We celebrate our 160th Anniversary. - The community votes

St. John Church one of the: "7 Wonders Of Mount Prospect".      


2011:  The Board of  Elders institutes a change in our summer worship

to one service at 9:15 am for the months of July and August. - A new

church organ built in the Netherlands was dedicated on September 18.


2012:   A special recognition banquet was held in October for Music

Directot Jim Vyhanek's 25 years of service to St John.


2013:  St John celebrates its 165th Anniversary on September 22. -

Historical tours of the church and cemetery begin for students from two

Mt. Prospect District 59 schools, which continue to the present. 


2016:  Interest is renewed for the development of the eastside property.

- The church building and the 1901 school building receive recognition

from the Village as "pre-centennial structures".


2017:  St John joins the Centennial celebration of Mt Prospect with

historical tours for the community; as it also celebrates its 169th 

Anniversary as a congregation. 


2018:  St John celebrates its 170th Anniversary as a congregation. 

- The congregation celebrated Pastor Jeff Gavin's 25 years of service

at St John and his 35 years of ministry with a recognition banquet.        


2019:   In September, St.John sold a portion of its east-side Linneman

Road property for the construction of a senior care facility. The proceeds

received form the sale will be put aside toward the building of a new church facility. - When completed, the senior care facility will also become a new ministry for our congregation. 


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