+ Rev. John H. Lutz +

Rev. John H. Lutz was born in 1920 in Amherst, Wisconsin.  He attended Concordia College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (now Concordia University—Wisconsin) and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

Upon graduating from seminary, Pastor Lutz was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry, and served Concordia Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota, a mission congregation at that time.

Before coming to St. John’s, Pastor married Helen (nee Lueders).  They were blessed with a son, Rev. Michael, and four daughters: Dorcas, Martha, Mary, and Lois.

St. John’s called Pastor Lutz to be our associate pastor in 1956.  Following Pastor Henry Blanke’s retirement, he accepted our call to be the senior pastor. 

Pastor Lutz had a long and active career, serving St. John’s for over 33 years.  In addition, he tirelessly served the Northern Illinois District, Synod, and community in many capacities.

Upon retiring in 1990, Pastor Lutz served Bethany Lutheran Church.  Having retired completely, he now resides at the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights, IL.

On March 19, 2013, after 93 years of earthly pilrimage, nearly 68 of which as bridegroom to his beloved Helen, Pastor Lutz fell asleep in Jesus.  He now awaits the Resurrection of all flesh.


Rev. Juan Berndt

Rev. Juan G. Berndt was born in 1925 to a Lutheran missionary family in Argentina.  He is the oldest of ten children.

Having received an education at Colegio Concordia in Crespo, Entre Rios, he went received his theological education at Seminario Concordia in Jose Leon Suarez.   He graduated from the seminary in November, 1950. 

Major events happened in Pastor Berndt’s life in 1951.  On February 4, 1951, he was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry.  The previous weekend, he married Erma (nee Beckmann.)

Pastor Berndt served the parish of Obera, which had five congregations.  He ministered there for three years.  Then the Mission Board called him to mission work in the area of Playa Ancha of Valparaiso in Chile.  He also helped Jose Avendano Valenzuela, a native pastor, in his formation as a Lutheran pastor.

In 1965, Pastor Berndt was called to the faculty of the seminary in suburban Buenos Aires.   He taught there for almost 15 years, before accepting a call to Faith Lutheran Church in Laredo, TX in 1979.

In 1983, he accepted the call to teach at the Hispanic Institute of Theology, housed on the Concordia University – Chicago campus, preparing Hispanic pastors and laymen, through Spanish instruction, for bringing the Gospel to their own people.  He served in this capacity until retiring in 1996.

In 1995, Pastor Berndt was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. 

Pastor Berndt, while retired, continued to serve regularly as a liturgist and preacher for our German services until retiring completely in December 2013.