The Rev. Richard A. Heinz was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1969. He was given New Birth in the waters of Holy Baptism at Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria. Pastor Heinz was blessed with a parochial education at Christ Lutheran School, and was catechized in the faith, being confirmed and first receiving the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in 1983.

After attending Manual High School in Peoria, Pastor attended Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. There he unknowingly met his future bride, Kristi. He received his B.A. from Concordia in 1991 and continued his studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He spent his vicarage year serving the Lord at St. John's Lutheran Church & School in Hannibal, MO, and graduated from Concordia in 1995.  

On July 9, 1995, Pastor Heinz was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry. He was then installed as Pastor of Mt. Greenwood Ev. Lutheran Church in Chicago. There he was re-introduced to Kristi (who had taught for eight years at St. John's Lutheran School in Algonquin, IL) and they were united in Holy Marriage on July 12, 1997. God has granted them one son, Benjamin.Easter Season (c) 2013 Jayme Wier, Photographer

In 1999, Pastor Heinz began serving St. John's Lutheran Church & School in Lanesville, IN. After ten years in Indiana, God returned the Heinz family home to Chicago. On August 9, 2009, the Lord placed Pastor Heinz here at St. John's Lutheran Church & School. (Are you noticing this theme with "St. John's?") They are enjoying this return, and thank God for the wonderful match He has made with Pastor, family, and parish!

Kristi is the music teacher at St. John’s. She also enjoys spending her time playing piano and singing, making jewelry, cooking, and volunteering around the church, school, and community. 

Outside the congregation, Pastor has enjoyed serving as a Cubmaster in Indiana, and as pastoral counselor for LWML zones at both previous parishes. The Heinz's are also huge Disney fans, and enjoy tea, music, films, and theatre.

Perhaps Pastor's most fulfilling activity (outside of the congregation) has been his work with Higher Things, a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS that provides resources for Lutheran youth and their pastors and leaders. Pastor has edited several hundred articles for, taught sessions at national conferences since 2007, and served as chaplain and is presently the Worship Coordinator for HT.

Within the parish, Pastor Heinz's favorite topics are liturgics (how and why we worship the way we do as Lutherans) and catechetics (passing on the faith in teaching and proclaiming the Gospel.) He asks your prayers as He goes about these (and all his) duties here at St. John's.


+ 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.