800 North 18th Avenue

Melrose Park, IL  60160



St. John United Church of Christ was originally organized as St. John’s Evangelical Church on April 28, 1912.

A professor from Elmhurst College, Karl F. Bauer, assisted the congregation in organizing the church.

The first pastor, Rev. Louis Kurz, served the congregation for only a few months.  Rev. R. Uhlhorn was called to the church in September 1912.  At this time services were conducted in both English and German.


On June 25, 1957 the Evangelical and Reformed Church (which St. John was a part of) united with the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches to form the denomination, the United Church Of Christ.  Eventually, most Evangelical and Reformed Churches, as well as Congregational Christian Churches, united under this new denomination and began to refer to themselves as the United Church Of Christ (UCC).  In 1961 St. John’s Constitution and by-laws were revised to reflect the current name of “St. John United Church of Christ.”


The groundbreaking ceremony for the present church building was on May 27, 1962, and the church was completed in March, 1963.  On November 1, 1970 Rev. Walther led a mortgage burning ceremony.


In late November of 1981, Rev. Rodolfo Ludeña and his wife Raquel met with Rev. Tom Sampson and St. John board members to discuss the possibility of renting the facilities for Sunday evening services.  In January of 1982 the congregation of Iglesia El Verbo de Dios (Word of God Church) began sharing facilities with St. John United Church Of Christ in Melrose Park where they remain and continue to share the building with St. John, including housing the

Word of God Christian Academy, a private Christian school that teaches grades K-12.


Currently, because St. John’s pastor, Bishop Phyllis V. Pennese also pastors Pillar of Love Fellowship UCC,

St. John and Pillar of Love have a combined worship service on the Second Sunday of each month.

The service is at 9:30 at the St. John, Melrose Park church located at 800 North 18th Avenue.

The beauty of this service is the diversity of the combined congregations, the incorporation of old and traditional worship liturgies of the Congregational Church and the African American “Black Church” experience, combined with new, contemporary worship styles including praise and worship at the start of each service.


Most of all, there is a sweet, loving, welcoming spirit that greets you at St. John each and everyday but that is amplified on Second Sundays!!!



circa  2012

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We are currently seeking donations to help those in our community in need.



Pillar of Love

You are invited to come and share in the vision of a radically diverse and powerfully loving community of people of faith that nurtures and supports the gifts of LGBTQ people of faith and our heterosexual allies.



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