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Saint John Lutheran Church (Northbrook, Illinois)

 Record Group
Identifier: Collection ID-0674

Scope and Contents

  • Church Record Book #1: Baptisms 1886-2010; Confirmations 1888-1977; Marriages 1888-1977; Deaths 1886-2005
  • Church Record Book #2: Marriages 1978-2013; Confirmations 1978-2007; Deaths 2005-2015
  • For the 130th Anniversary, booklets were compiled of Baptisms, Confirmations, and Marriages 1886-2016, located in a folder in this collection
  • History of the Congregation
  • Revised Constitution and By-Laws 1937
  • Church DIrectories from the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
  • Voters’ Meeting Minutes from October 18, 2018 and March 24, 2019


  • 1886 - 2019

Biographical / Historical

During the Fall of 1885, a group of Lutheran men residing in the western part of Northfield Township, Cook County, requested that the pastor of Immanual Lutheran Church, Glenview (then Oak Glen), Rev. H.W. Wehrs, conduct church services for them. The first service was conducted in the home of Henry Staack before Christmas 1885. Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church of West Northfield, Cook County, Illinois was founded in March 1886. Shortly after, land was purchased and a building was erected to serve as both a church and school. This building was dedicated in September 1886. A parsonage was provided by the purchase of a house. In 1895, a new frame parsonage was built, which served the congregation until it was torn down in the 1970s.

In the early morning of May 15, 1915, the frame church building was completely destroyed by a fire. The congregation immediately made plans to replace their building with a brick building, and it was dedicated on December 19, 1915.

In September 1939 the Sunday School was organized. Prior to that, Sunday School classes were taught by the Pastor and a group of young people at the public school. Prior to the early 1970s, a pipe organ was installed in the church, improvements were made to the parsonage, and a large addition to the school building was completed. In 1966, the school was closed due to decreasing enrollment. By June 1969 the decision was made to remodel the inside of the church. In January 1970 the church was vacated and the remodeled church was dedicated in June 1970.

The members of Saint John celebrated the 100th anniversary in 1986. Construction of an addition to the church building began in in October 1992, and the new addition was dedicated on April 17, 1994.

Church membership was declining by 2010. During 2013, meetings were held to determine Saint John’s future. An area of the property was rented to Lutheran Church Charities in the summer of 2014 as a training facility for the dog handlers in the Comfort Dog program. Later that year, a unanimous vote was made to start negotiations with Lutheran Church Charities to transfer the property, including the church buiilding and property to them. The property was deeded to them in Janury 2015.

Saint John celebrated the 130th Anniversary on September 11, 2016. Due to further decline in membership as a result of deaths, members becoming homebound, moving/relocation, the members began serious discussions whether or not to continue as a congregation in October 2018. On March 24, 2019, the congregation voted to close. The last worship service was held on April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday.


.21 Linear Feet (2” letter, 2 church record books)

Language of Materials



Physical Location

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Concordia Historical Institute Repository

804 Seminary Place
Saint Louis MO 63105 USA