God’s Story at St. Andrew
St. Andrew is not a building, a program, or a pastor; rather it is the story of God’s people who have continued Jesus’ ministry for over 50 years in the western part of DuPage County. It is the story of people encountering and experiencing the love and forgiveness of Jesus, and having a deep desire to share that with others.
The story begins in the late summer of 1959, when Pastor Robert Anderson began to knock on doors of homes in West Chicago. The first worship service was held at Gary Elementary School with 58 people present. Within a few months, five acres of land was purchased at the corner of Prince Crossing and Geneva Roads. On May 15, 1960, St. Andrew was officially organized as a Lutheran Congregation. The first building was dedicated on February 18, 1962. The original building was the education area, kitchen, and bathroom (before the fire).
St. Andrew grew at a rapid pace during these early years, as the people reached out to friends and neighbors and invited them to share in the excitement of ministry. Pastor Paul Benson gave leadership to the congregation, and by 1968 it was apparent that an addition to the building was needed to accommodate the many ministries. In June of 1970 the fellowship hall and office areas were dedicated to the glory of God.
Pastor Leland Engel arrived in August 1973 and expanded the ministry to especially focus upon the ministry of the church around the world, giving to ministries that touch the lives of people throughout the world. In 1981, the congregation built the gabled roof on the fellowship hall area. This was an important part of our faith story, for it illustrated what we can do when we join together. After this time, stewardship to ministry increased dramatically.
Pastor Michael Bostian arrived to a very vibrant congregation of faith in winter 1982. In January 1984, a long range planning committee was formed to study how St. Andrew could impact the community for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This culminated with the building of the current sanctuary and the addition of ministry staff in 1988-89. Deb Dingus and Susan Rippert served the faith community while attending seminary in Chicago. Ministry programs were launched, including Bethel Bible Study and the Logos youth ministry.
Pastor Frederick Reklau arrived in 1991 and soon led the congregation in planning for a major addition to our facility. The process of planning the building was a time of reviewing the overall ministry needs of St. Andrew. It was decided that at this time in the life of the congregation, a building was not a viable option. In 1996, a long range planning committee lifted up a number of ministry needs that would impact the community for Jesus.
Pastor John F. Dumke served as Pastor from November 1996 to December 2012. Upon completion of a Vision to Action program, a number of new ministries where created: Contemporary worship service, ESL, Youth Mission Trips, Mobile Class rooms were acquired to provide additional ministry space, Spanish worship services. Pastor Jaime A. Dubon joined the pastoral staff in February 2002 to serve along side Pastor John in providing pastoral leadership for the entire congregation. Pastor Jaime’s primary focus in ministry was to our members who worship in Spanish. He served here until 2011. On September 11, 2005 our ministry center was engulfed by fire, giving us the opportunity to rebuild our ministry facility to provide space for the people of God at St. Andrew and the community.
In November, 2013, Pastor Josh Ebener was called as a bilingual pastor to serve the entire congregation and to lead services in both English and Spanish. We continue to move into the future as one community in Christ, asking God’s continued guidance and provision.