History

1890's

1893 - The church is organized as a storefront mission of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke. The first pastor serving this congregation is The Reverend William Ganske.

The mission began worshipping in a storefront building at Seeley and Lawrence Avenues, which was the Northern edge of the city. This building served as the House of Worship as well as the one-room Parish School.

1896 - The cornerstone for a church building is laid at Lawrence and Oakley Avenues, on April 12. The old "storefront" Church was moved to the new site, to serve as the school and meeting place for Parish activities. The new House of Worship is dedicated on September 25th.

1900's - 1920's

1905 - The congregation becomes self-supporting, and, no longer requires financial supporty from the Mission Board. Mr. E. Karnatz is called to be the 1st teacher and organist.

1910 - Mr. Karnatz leaves his position as teacher at St. Philip. He is replaced by Mr. F. Ziegele who teachings until his death in March of 1926.

1926 - The Reverend Edward C. Kuehnert is called as the Assistant to Pastor Ganske. Due to illness, The Reverend William Ganske resigns as the 1st Pastor of St. Philip.

The Reverend Edward C. Kuehnert is installed in November as the 2nd Pastor of St. Philip, and the use of English is begun in worship services.

Mrs. Arnswald is "engaged" to complete the balance of the school year ,after the death of Mr. Ziegele.

1927 - Mrs. Flora Scheel (nee Kuehnert, the sister of the second Pastor of St. Philip) became the instructor in the school, organist, and choir director. She remained until the Parish School closed in 1929.

1928 - Placement of the cornerstone during a special service on November 4th. The Rev. Edward Kuehnert officiated in both English and German.

1929 - A parcel of land is purchased at the North-East corner of Bryn Mawr and Campbell Avenues. Architects were engaged, contracts accepted, and old buildings were sold and construction was underway. On the last Sunday in May, the last Worship services were held in the old Church. July 21st was the day of dedication of the new building consisting of a Church, a parish house with meeting rooms, offices, recreation faciltiies and a rectory. The Parish School is closed.

1930's - 1940's

1936 - A group of men within the congregation formulated plans for the reopening and reestablishment of the Parish School. The dream became a reality through a generous subsidy from the Northern Illinois District Mission Board.

1937 - Mr. Milton E. Marten accepts the Call to become the Teacher/Principal of the re-opened Parish School. Twenty-three students are enrolled in Grades 1 and 2. Classes are held in one of the rooms on the north side of the Parish House. 

Mr. Bergstrasser, the church organist, resigned in late 1937 and Mr. Marten took over as Director of Music/Organist in the Church.

1939 - The Kindergarten was added to the Parish School as the 2nd classroom in the school. Mrs. Estelle Wolter was the teacher.

1940 - As the enrollment continued to grow, an additional classroom for the Lower Grades was added to the Parish School. Miss Marie Meyer was the teacher and remained at St. Philip until June of 1942.

1941 - The Reverend Edward C. Kuehnert enters the military as Chaplain in World War II.

A recent graduate of the Seminary, Victor C. Rickman, comes to St. Philip to serve as vacancy Pastor.

When Pastor Kuehnert chooses to remain in the Chaplaincy program of the military, he resigns as the 2nd Pastor of St. Philip.

1942 - Candidate Victor C. Rickman receives the Call to become the 3rd Pastor of St. Philip. He is Ordained and Installed on April 12th. In September, the congregation calls the first synodically trained female teacher, Miss Edna Messerschmidt, to the professional staff, to be the teacher in the Primary Grades. 

The school had an enrollment of 75 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade with many classes being held in the area adjacent to the Sanctuary.

The Parish School has its first graduating class in June with four boys and one girl.

Miss Pauline Beyer became the Kindergarten Teacher in September, after the resignation of Mrs. Wolter.

1943 - After just six years of existence, the Parish School enrollment was 87 children with three classrooms.

1945 - The Lydia Guild, the women's service organization, had it's organizational meeting and has been serving our Lord and St. Philip continuously.

1948 - Mr. Milton E. Marten accepts a Call to another congregation to establish a Parish School, and, to become the Teacher/Principal.

1950 's

1950 - The Reverend Dr. Alfred P. Klausler becomes part-time Assistant to the Pastor.

1951 - Construction begins on the Parish Activities Building across the street from the Church, to house five new classrooms, the administrative offices, and the recreational-social activities of the Parish. The total cost of the project was over $275,000. Mr. Armin P. Gutekunst is called to serve as the Teacher/Principal of the school.

1952 - The corner-stone laying of the Parish Activities Center takes place on September 28.

1953 - The Parish Activities Center, which houses the Parish School, is dedicated May 10th. 

1956 - Stained glass windows in the Parish Activities Center are dedicated on September 30th in memory of 17 Saints, with gifts of love from the school children of St. Philip, along with the Mother's Club and Walther Leagues of St. Philip.

1957 - In April, a second English service is added to the worship schedule, along with a German worship service every Sunday. The school outgrows it's building and some classes return to the Church building.

The Parish newsletter, "The Echo," makes its appearance, December 2, as a single page weekly newsletter. Subsequently, it was published as a monthly newsletter.

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, River Forest, Illinois.

1960's

1962 - The refurbished basement area of the Church is dedicated in the Memory of the ministry of the 1st Pastor, The Reverend William Ganske, and, is renamed the Ganske Memorial Hall.

More classrooms and a Chapel, The Chapel of the Benediction, are added to the PAB. The enrollment of the Parish School 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.m The program allows candidates to receive practical experience in a church setting under the direction of an experienced mentor. 

1965 - The new two-manual, twenty-six rank Holtkamp organ, which includes the "Rueckpositiv." is dedicated on June 13th. The organ is featured in the book, "Pipe Organs of Chicago, Volume II," and is listed in the historic registry.

On April 8th, the special stained glass window in the Chapel of the Benediction, as well as, the Christ Statue in the Parish Activities Building, were dedicated. Both were designed by Harold L. Martin of the Martin Studio, Chicago.

1966 - The Memorial Sanctuary Lamp was dedicated on December 4th. It was designed by Harold A. Milbrath, Milwaukee and given in memory of  The Rev. Otto and Mrs. Christine Messerschmidt.

1967 - The Processional Cross was dedicated. It was designed and executed by the then Vicar Alfred Maier, the 2nd Vicar of St. Philip. 

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

1970's

1971 - St. Philip loans the services of The Reverend Dr. 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 during that time.

1975 - Mr. Gutekunst recieves the Spiritus Magister (Master Teacher) award from the Lutheran Education Assoication, and, retires. Mr. Richard H. Blatt is called to become the Principal/Teacher after having served as a teacher since 1960.

1977 - St. Philip extends a Call to The Reverend William W. Hessler, as our first Assistant Pastor.

1979 - Pastor Hessler accepts a Call to serve another Church. The congregation calls the first Associate Pastor, The Reverend Robert P. Rickman.

1980's

1980 - The Reverend Dr. Victor C. Rickman is called to his heavenly home, after serving as a Pastor at St. Philip for over 38 years.

1981- The Reverend Robert P. Rickman is called as the 4th Pastor of St. Philip, after serving as the Associate Pastor of St. Philip.

The Parish Activities Building is dedicated to the Memory of the Sainted Reverend Dr. Victor C. Rickman, on June 14th, and, henceforth is known as "The Reverend Dr. Victor C. Rickman Parish Activities Center."

1983 - The Harpsichord is dedicated on December 25th.

1985 - St. Philip purchases the storefront building East of the parsonage to expand the 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 19th, with four students Mrs. Janis P. Sakai is called as the first coordinator of this new program ministry.

1987 - St. Philip celebrates 50 years of continuous Christian education through the program of the school, with an enrollment of 285 students.

1988 - The two-octave, twenty-five bell set of Schulmerich handbells, carrying cases, and portable tables were dedicated on May 29th. It was a gift from Carl Buehl in memory of his daughter, Norma Jean (Buehl) Ceislewiez, the first girl to graduate from the Parish School of St. Philip, June 1942, in a class of five students. 

1990's - 2000's

1990 - St. Philip purchases the building at the corner of Bryn Mawr and Artesian, demolishing the existing building, for an additional playground and parking space.

1993 - St. Philip celebrates her 100th Anniversary in a year-long series of special services. Dedication of the Ziebelstern, to enhance the organ, also took place.

1997 - The Reverend Robert P. Rickman accepts a Call to another congregation to become their Pastor. The Reverend Peter Diebenow is the Interim Pastor.

2000 - The Reverend Christopher C. Browne is ordained and installed as the fifth Pastor of St. Philip.

2004 - Mr. Richard H. Blatt retires following 44 years of service as Teacher/Principal. Miss Edna M. Messerschmidt retires following 62 years as Teacher/Parish Worker/Executive Asst. Mr. Nick A. Hopfensperger is called as the Teacher/Principal of the Parish School, after serving as a full-time teacher.

2007 - The Kawaii Grand Piano was dedicated in memory of Irene Fink.

2008 - The Reverend Browne resigns as Pastor of St. Philip.

Mr. Hopfensperger accepts a Call at another congregation.

Mrs. Donna Tennis is Called as the Teacher/Principal of the Early Childhood Center through 8th Grade Campus, after serving as the Coordinator/Teacher of the Early Childhood Center.

The Reverend Ronald L. Simpson serves St. Philip as the Interim Pastor. 

2009 - The Reverend Lance A. O'Donnell is installed as the sixth Pastor of St. Philip.

The Early Childhood Center adds the two-year-old program.

2010's

2010 - St. Philip begins to "stream," over the Internet, the Sunday Morning Worship Service as well as the Mid-Week Chapel Services of the Parish School. In addition, all Lenten and Advent Services are also "streamed".

2011 - "The Garden of Thanks and Remembrance" is dedicated on Easter Sunday.

The Infant-Toddler Program becomes an integral part of The Early Childhood Center.

The Sanctuary Candles were dedicated in memory of Edna Messerschmidt (Miss Edna) on December 11th.

2012 -  St. Philip celebrates 75 years of Christian Education through the program of the Parish School. 

The Rev. Ronald Schultz serves St. Philip as the Interim Pastor through 2013.

2013  - The Rev. Eric Gawura serves St. Philip as the Interim Pastor through 2016.

2014 - The 14 Hand-Carved Hardwood Pew Candles were dedicated at the 5 p.m. Family Service on Christmas Eve.

2016 - The large wooden cross in the Sanctuary was dedicated on February 21st. It was specially designed and built by Mr. Lyle Burkett in memory of his wife, Carol Burkett.

2017 - The Reverend Thomas Engel was installed as the 7th Pastor of St. Philip.

2020's

2020 - St. Philip begins to "stream" her Worship Services live at 10 a.m. each Sunday over Facebook.

St. Philip School transitions to temporary E-Learning (Electronic Learning) due to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) for all grades Preschool - 8th Grade beginning in March of 2020.

ADDRESS

2500 West Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659

773-561-9830

© 2019 St. Philip Lutheran Church and School