History

1893

The church is organized as a store front mission of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke. The first pastor serving this congregation is The Reverend William Ganske.

1896

The cornerstone for a church building is laid at Lawrence and Oakley Avenues.

1905

The congregation becomes self-sustaining, and calls Mr. Karnatz to formally teach the children.

1929

The congregation moves to a new location at Bryn Mawr and Campbell Avenues. Presently, this site serves as the same location as our worship center. A church facility, including a parish house and rectory is constructed at this site. The congregation decides to close the doors of its school.

1937

The school reopens and reestablishes itself with Mr. Milton E. Marten called as the teacher-principal. Classes are held in one of the rooms of the parish house with 23 students enrolled.

1941

The Reverend Edward C. Kuehnert enters the military as Chaplain in World War II. The congregation receives candidate Victor C. Rickman into our midst to serve as vacancy pastor.

1942

The Reverend Victor C. Rickman is installed as the third pastor at St. Philip. In September, the congregation calls the first synodically trained female teacher, Miss Edna Messerschmidt, to the professional staff.

1951

Construction begins on the Parish Activities Building across the street from the church to house the school, the administrative offices, and the recreational-social activities of the parish. Mr. Armin P. Gutekunst is called to serve as the teacher-principal of the school.

1955

The ECHO is first published. This monthly newsletter continues to bring the urban church closer together.

1959

St. Philip begins outreach to the community and shut-ins with direct broadcasts of the worship services. The school also becomes a student teaching center for Concordia Teachers’ College, in River Forest, Illinois.

1962

More classrooms and a chapel are added to the PAB, as enrollment reaches more than 260 children, with many ethnic groups represented.

1964

To assist young men studying to become pastors, St. Philip begins a vicarage program. This program allows candidates to receive practical experience in a church setting under the direction of an experienced mentor.

1967

The Parish Activities Building is refurbished, with additional classrooms and storage space now available.

1971

St. Philip loans the services of The Reverend Victor C. Rickman to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for a two-year special assignment. The synod places The Reverend Arthur D. Yunker in our midst with a limited call of one year.

1975

Mr. Gutekunst receives the Spiritus Magister (Master Teacher) award from the Lutheran Education Association and retires. Mr. Richard H. Blatt becomes the principal-teacher after having served as teacher since 1960.

1977

St. Philip extends a call to The Reverend William W. Hessler, as our first assistant pastor. When he accepts a call to serve another church in 1979, the congregation calls the first associate pastor, The Reverend Robert P. Rickman.

1980

The Reverend Dr. Victor C. Rickman is called to his heavenly home, serving as Pastor at St. Philip for over 38 years.

1981

The Reverend Robert P. Rickman is called as 4th pastor at St. Philip.

1985

St. Philip purchases the store front building east of the parsonage to expand ministry to include a preschool / child care center. The building is refurbished and connected to the church building complex.

1986

The Preschool / Child Care Center opens on May 19 with four students. Mrs. Janis P. Sakai is called as the first coordinator of this new program ministry.

1987

St. Philip celebrates fifty years of continuous Christian education through the program of the school, with an enrollment of 285 students.

1997

The Reverend Robert P. Rickman accepts a call to another congregation to become their pastor.

2000

The Reverend Christopher C. Browne is ordained and installed as the 5th pastor of St. Philip.

2004

Mr. Richard H. Blatt retires following 44 years of service to God’s people at St. Philip as teacher and principal. Miss Edna M. Messerschmidt retires following 62 years working in God’s Kingdom at St. Philip as teacher and executive assistant. Mr. Nick A. Hopfensperger is called as the teacher-principal of the school, after serving as full-time teacher in the grade school.