Our History
Rev. JoAnn Post accepted our call to become pastor in October, 2014. Come join us!

'59chartermembers2The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension celebrated its first worship service in the fall of 1958.  Its first home was in the Hubbard Woods School, Winnetka, Illinois.  In January, 1959, services moved to Sunset Ridge School in Northfield, Illinois.  By September of that year, Ascension published its first newsletter called, "The Witness: - a publication that continues under this same name today.  Early in 1960, Rev. Dr. Harold Lohr was installed as the first pastor.

Within its first two years, the aspiring church had celebrated its first baptism and first confirmand, and the newly constituted congregation boasted of 89 adult members plus their children.  New members continued to be received, and by 2005, the church had grown to an average worship attendance level of over 200.

By 1962, the congregation had continued to grow to the point where a new, more permanent home was contemplated.  That summer a groundbreaking service for a new church building was held.  By November of that year, the cornerstone of the church building was laid.  Thus began the life of the church at its current location at 460 Sunset Ridge Road in Northfield.'59Construction

The church was officially dedicated in the summer of 1963.  The first pipe organ was given to the church that same year by Mr. and Mrs. George Yarnall in memory of their son, Thomas.

In 1970, Rev. Dr. Lohr resigned as pastor and the congregation called the Rev. Dr. Donald H. Fagerberg.  Rev. Fagerberg served as pastor for 30 years, retiring as the year 2000 drew to a close.  During this period, the church continued to grow in many ways.  A groundbreaking ceremony to add an addition to the church building was held in 1976.  A new, full size organ was dedicated in 1979, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Larson.

in 1972, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension became one of the first parish-teaching congregations of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  In 1980, a full set of handbells and a carillon were received, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Dumke.  These gifts figure prominently in the present day Worship ministries of the church.  Also that year, the dedication of the beautiful Prayer Garden was held, a gift of the Penrith family.  In the fall of 1984, the church celebrated its 25th anniversary.  In commemoration, a time capsule was prepared that is to be opened at the celebration of Ascension's 50th anniversary in 2009.

The church was growing in other ways too.  Average attendance during the formative years of 1958 - 1959 was 53 persons including children.  Total income and expenditures for 1959 was $11,937.  In 1987, the church hosted its first Youth Church Night, a precursor to the many programs and activities available today for children and young adults.  The congregation continued to grow, and a second builidng addition was approved in 1989 - the same year the church celebrated its 30th anniversary.

In 1999, the church celebrated it's 40th anniversary.  In 2001, the Rev. Curtis W. Gerald accepted the position of Senior Pastor.  Under his leadership, and that of the church council, the congregation worked through a visioning process resulting in a reaffirmation of the previous Mission Statement and the adoption of a new Vision Statement, and a five year plan for restructuring of ministry.

In 2004, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension celebrated its 45th anniversary.  The church dedicated a beautiful set of stained glass windows in early 2006.

In 2007, Pastor Gerald retired. The Rev. Patrick McGuire served as our pastor during 2008.  

Ascension celebrated its 50th anniversary in November, 2009, following a full year of multiple intergenerational events and activities to commemorate the occasion. As we were concluding our celebrations, Pastor Dennis Kelly accepted our call to become pastor in October, 2009 and served to June of 2014.

Ascension called the Rev. JoAnn Post to be our pastor in October of 2014.

Come worship with us!



Last Published: April 1, 2016 4:16 PM