Our History

From St. James slide show - 1980s
St. James Lutheran Church received its charter in January of 1962. Our first home was in the Lake Bluff Jr. High School and remained there for the following three years. The first service held on March 11, 1962 had 90 worshipers in attendance with Rev. Edward Hammer serving as the mission pastor.

By January of 1963 the church constitution was adopted. Two months later, Lutheran Church Women organized, and in April the first confirmation class was confirmed.

Ground breaking for the first church unit occurred in October of 1964, with the dedication in 1965.

Rev. Edward Livingston became our second pastor in November of 1966, and nine years later, in 1975, G. Anton (“Tony”) Danielson received the call.

By the end of 1979 baptized membership surpassed the 500 mark, and an expanded facility to include an educational wing seemed imminent. This unit was dedicated in November of 1980.

The Rev. Barbara S. Gazzolo joined the staff in November of 1982.

In keeping pace with increasing membership, the present sanctuary was dedicated in 1990. A pipe organ was installed by March of 1992. The 24 rank tracker pipe organ was built by Robert Sipe.

In 2000, Pastor Danielson retired after 25 years of service.

In the July 2001, Richard E. Holmer accepted the call and became our new senior pastor.

In April 2005, Pastor Gazzolo retired after 22 years of service.

Pastor Karl J. Hester was called to serve as full time Associate Pastor in April 2005. Pastor Hester accepted a call to Portland, Oregon in November 2007.

Currently the Baptized membership exceeds 570.