St. John's is a caring place where everyone can live, learn and grow together in Christ.

Our Story


St. John’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1903 as a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, with the first building completed in 1906 at the corner of Prairie and Linden. St. John’s continued at this Gothic Windowlocation until 1923, when a new church building was dedicated at the corner of Park and Wilmette Avenues, where the church continues to reside to this day.  For many years, services were conducted in both English and German. This continued until the 1940’s when turnover in the local population led to dwindling attendance at the German service, resulting in its demise.

After World War II, membership at the church was expanding greatly as were the social, educational and social activities supported by that membership. The church purchase lot just to its east and in 1951 dedicated the new parish house which included a lower level filled with classrooms and meetings paces and an upper level gymnasium. In addition, the current tower was also completed at this time.

By 1960, the church had over 1000 baptized members. The final addition to the church property was the purchase of the two flat immediately south of the church on Park Avenue in 1964. This property remains a part of the church to this day with our current pastor and his wife occupying the top floor and the lower level rented to a tenant.  The 1970’s saw a continued decline in membership as sharply increasing housing prices in the village made Wilmette unaffordable to many families. St. John's Building

In 1976 St. John’s voted to leave the Missouri Synod, of which it had been a member for 73 years, for the newly former Association of Evangelical Churches (AELC). In 1987, the AELC would merge 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 1980’s 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, many of these service projects continue to this day, in addition to new ones such as 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.

Panoramic View of St. John's ChurchIn 2007, St. John’s called its current pastor, Rev. Joseph McInnis. Pastor Joe, and his wife Jane have brought a spirit of renewal and revitalization to the church and after 6 years of partnership, St. John’s is once again bursting at the seams with activity, worship and service. As a result, St. John’s is currently looking at making its first major improvements to the church building in nearly 50 years.  An architectural firm has been hired to study the existing structure and create a strategic plan to allow St. John’s to continue its mission and ministry for the next half century.  A decade into its second century, St. John’s remains a caring place where everyone can live, learn and grow together in Christ.