Saint John’s Episcopal Church

When was it founded: 1937-1938

Where is it located: 200 North Main Street

Has it moved: Yes

First Pastor or Priest: Father Hubbard (?)

History and interesting stories about the church:

The first service for Saint John’s Episcopal Church was held on April 24, 1938 with the blessing of then-Bishop Stewart of Chicago. For the twenty people who received communion that day, a drinking glass served as the chalice, a cream pitcher as the cruet, and a saucer as the paten. In 1939 with the gift of two lots by realtors Krause and Kehe, Saint John’s was able to purchase the Central School property and hold services there. Despite having financial difficulties, the church managed to survive through the community’s collective efforts and support.

In 1946, following the end of World War II and amid the suburban living boom, Saint John’s welcomed Father Dean Howard Ganster. Three years later, Thomas Chaffee was received into the church as its first resident Priest-in-Charge. However, it was not until 1953 that Saint John’s was formally recognized and invited into the Diocese as a parish. In that same year, a new place of worship was built and dedicated by Bishop Burrill. In 1955, following Father Chaffee’s resignation, the church experienced a “revolving-door” issue with its clergy. Robert Manning arrived in 1956 and left a year later; while, his replacement, Father Ehrgott remained a mere four years until 1962.

Between 1953 and 1961, Saint John’s lost and regained its status as a self-supporting parish church. This seems to have been due, in part, to being over extended financially with the construction of the new church and founding of the Sunday School and in part because of divisions within the congregation. These divisions seem to have come from Father Manning taking a high-church approach and parts of the congregation finding this too rigid and leaving to found St. Simon’s Episcopal Church in Arlington Heights.


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