THE HISTORY OF

CHATHAM FIELDS EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

 

On February 13, 1939, the voting body of Windsor Park Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Arthur

H. Kaub, pastor, resolved unanimously to sponsor establishing a daughter congregation. This new congregation

was to be located in the district known as Chatham Fields west of the Illinois Central tracks. The congregation

also voted to recommend to the Synod that candidate Laurence A. Boseck, be called into the Lord’s services by

the Mission Board of the English District.

 

Laurence A. Boseck, was ordained and installed as pastor on April 30, 1939. On Monday, May 1st, intensive work was begun. The first order of business was the first call to worship in the new mission for Sunday, May 7th. During the first year all of the following were established:

Vacation Saturday School (currently the Vacation Bible School)

Membership Group

Confirmation Classes

Church Choir

Junior Chorus

Young People’s Society

Women’s Guild

On June 13, 1939, fifty persons organized themselves into a Christian congregation under the name Chatham Fields Evangelical Lutheran Church. Of these, forty-six had been members of the Mother Church in Windsor Park. Officers were elected to serve for the balance of the year and a Building Committee was also elected. One of the first resolutions was to build the church on the lot located on the northwest corner of each 81st Street and St. Lawrence

Avenue. The congregation also resolved to assume the obligations (which the Windsor Park Church had taken up itself)

of the purchase of the lot. For the first 5 months services were held in a store at 8112 Cottage Grove Avenue. On

October 1st, our church moved to another store at 7909 Maryland Avenue. Christmas Eve brought a very wonderful gift from Heaven - the festival service was held in the basement of the new building at 81st and St. Lawrence Avenue.

 

Six hundred people were present to thank God along with the young congregation at the laying of the corner

stone on November 19, 1939. Worship service was dedicated to “The Greater Glory of God” on April 28, 1940. Three

services were held on the day of dedication. From the original fifty communicant members, Pastor Boseck raised the membership to four hundred and fifty. As the neighborhood changed from White to Black (1956 onward), Pastor

Boseck pursued his evangelism with the same vigor as in the beginning. When he left, the church had over three hundred and fifty active members. On December 1, 1964, Pastor Boseck answered a call at Our Savior Lutheran Church in

Norwood Park, IL.

 

On December 6, 1964, Rev. Norman Widiger, of the Lutheran Seminary at University of Chicago, became interim pastor and remained until, July 25, 1965. Pastor Earl T. Beck of Detroit, Michigan accepted the call and was installed on August 15, 1965 and served until July 31, 1966 when he accepted a return call to his former church in Detroit. Again,

Rev. Widiger became our interim pastor serving from August 31, 1966 until October 1 6, 1966. During this period, the Board of Vestry sent out calls for a pastor and Rev. Richard C. Dickerson (a pastor of the Mission in Gary, Indiana) answered the call and was installed October 16, 1966. While he was pastor of Chatham Fields, he pursued his studies leading to a Doctorate Degree in Theology. He left Chatham Fields in late 1971.

 

Paster Peter J. Hoffman was installed on March 19, 1972 by his father the Rev. Oswald Hoffman and served at Chatham Fields until August 1978, when he answered a call to teach full time at Luther High School South. We were blessed to have Pastor Theodore Ludwig as our interim pastor.

 

On February 5, 1980, Rev. Dr. Kenneth F. Korby, Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University accepted the call to become our pastor. He was installed by the Rev. Dr. Frazier Odom on June 8, 1980. On Sunday, January 11, 1987, Pastor Korby delivered his final sermon and retired from full time parish ministry and moved to

St. Paul Minnesota. Interim pastors were Rev. Paul Dobberstein and Rev. Dr. Walter Keller.

 

In April 1987, Rev. Willie C. Lucas of St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY accepted the call to become our pastor. He was installed by the English District President, Roger D. Pittelko, on Sunday, June 21, 1987. Pastor Lucas instituted a program of first communion classes for pre-confirmation children. Rev. Lucas served until January 31, 1990, when he accepted a call to Grace Lutheran Church in East St. Louis, Illinois.

 

From February 1990 until February 1994, Chatham Fields was served by several interim, ministers,

i.e. Rev. Ken Wenker, Rev. Paul Volz, Dr. James Backman, Rev. Dr. Larry Schneekloth, Rev. Dr. Jeffery Dire,

Rev. Jerry Reimer (during Lenten and Advent services) and Rev. David Krueckeberg.

 

In February 1994, our prayers were answered when Pastor Jerry A. Riemer accepted the call to Chatham Fields. He began his ministry to this congregation on March 1, 1994 and was installed as pastor, Sunday, March 6, 1994, where

he served until his untimely death, February 4, 1996.

 

Our congregation was blessed to have as interim Pastor, Rev. Robert Erickson between February 1996 and May 1998 and Pastor Landis McAlpin – May 1998 until June 2000. From June 2000 until September 2001, several pastors served the congregation, leading the Sunday worship service and teaching weekly Bible classes. In September 2001, the congregation was blessed to have Pastor Israel Anchan agree to become our interim pastor.

 

God be Praised – Rev. Kenety S. Gee, a Concordia Seminary graduate was installed as Chatham Fields Lutheran Church’s permanent pastor in July, 2004. Pastor Gee is committed and diligent about his service to the congregation and reaching out to the community. Pastor Gee’s ministry has been blessed with new members, confirmed youth and adding

an additional bible study class. He is encouraging youth and focusing on the growth and improvement of the church.

Pastor Gee’s vision and leadership made it possible for Chatham Fields to install the addition of a much needed elevator.

It has been a blessing and made it possible for seniors and the handicapped members to attend services.

 

Reverend Keith Kinslow became ordained and installed as Assistant Pastor of Chatham Fields April 21, 2013.

On his journey to become Assistant Pastor, Keith Kinslow received a BA in Christian Ministry and a MA in Urban Ministry from Trinity International University. After serving at other churches, Keith Kinslow was drawn back to the Luthern Church. He joined Chatham Fields in the fall of 2009. He became a deacon and soon after made a decision to pursue an education through Concordia Seminary’s Pacific Ministry Program. He was installed as Vicar at Chatham Fields in 2010 as he was pursuing the Ministry Program. After completing the Ministry Program, Keith Kinslow was Ordained and Installed as Assistant Pastor. This is a historic time at Chatham Fields. For the first time Chatham Fields

has the blessing of having a Pastor and Assistant Pastor serving at the same time.

 

The Chatham Fields Senior and Junior Choirs have been blessed to have outstanding musical directors and organists beginning with Edgar Husemann and Eugene Ralls, Jr. leading the music ministry from June

1939 until 1959. Mr. Arthur Kiefer served from October 1959 until 1968; Mrs. Sydonia Brooks served from

1968 until 1971 and returned from 2002-2003; while Ms. Pat Evans, Mr. Charles T. Hayes and Mrs. Wilma Leonard served together from 1971-1973. Mr. Bronson Thomas, Mr. Reginald T. McCants, Mrs. Elaine Hoffman, Mr. Early Cobb and Lisa (from Concordia University) served between the years of 1973 and 1979.

Mr. Alan Hayes and Mr. Leon Washington led our music program from 1979 until 1981. Leathia Bryant was

the Junior Choir Director from 1982-1983.

 

Mr. Alan Hayes has served on the music staff continuously from 1979 to the present. Mr. Charles T. Hayes returned after graduate school to join his brother Alan as Director of Music from 1981 until 2001. Since 2004 we have been blessed with several talented musicians including Mr. Lonnie Norwood and Ms. Susan Anglin. Currently Mr. David N. Young Sr. is leading the Chatham Fields music ministry as director of music with Mr. Alan Hayes as assistant director and Marshal Woodard on drums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 Chatham Fields Lutheran Church
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