There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 1:4-6

Meet Our Staff 


Leonard Payton, Ph.D. - Pastor 

After spending many years as a church musician, Pastor Payton attended Concordia Theological Seminary and entered the ministry. Pastor Payton has been happily married to Lori, his childhood sweetheart, since 1979, and they have four children and seven grandchildren. Pastor Payton likes to garden and to share that passion with the St. John neighborhood in our community garden. Email: 


Roney Riley - Assistant Pastor Retired

Roney has been a long-time member of St. John (25+ years), married to Dale since 1968, and is a graduate of Loyola University, Chicago. Pastor Riley was ordained and installed at St. John as Assistant Pastor. Pastor Riley has completed the SMP program through Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Email:


Paul Lindblad - Director of Liturgics 


Paul Lindblad received his undergraduate degree in Music Education and a Master's Degree in Church Music from Concordia University, Chicago, in River Forest, Illinois. Mr. Lindblad earned a Kodály Certificate from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He has studied with world famous choral conductor, Paul Christiansen; and International Kodály music education specialist Katinka Daniel. Mr. Lindblad has completed extensive studies in organ performance, vocal technique, and conducting under the mentorships of Victor Hildner and Douglas Neslund. the mentorship of Victor Hildner and Douglas Neslund. Mr. Lindblad currently conducts the Oak Park Concert Chorale and St. John Choristers (previously Paul Lindblad Choristers). He is the Director of Liturgics at St. John Lutheran Church in Forest Park, the music teacher at Walther Lutheran Academy in Forest Park, and is the former Choirmaster at St. Gregory Episcopal Boychoir School in Chicago. Email:


De Ann Beger - Office Manager

De Ann graduated with a BA/English from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa in 1988.

She and her husband have two children and live in Lyons.

Email (church office)

Helmke John


John Helmke - Pastor Emeritus

St. John Officers and Boards



President - Matthew Huner / Vice President - Shawn Dahlstrand / Secretary - Cathy Walz / Treasurer - David Walz

Board for Lay Ministry

Chris Johnson (Acting Chair) and the elected elders: Melvin Block, Robert Fredland, Dave Hill, Paul Kressin, Greg Roberson, Peter Schoedel

Board for Evangelism and Outreach

Katherine Roberson (Chair), Mary Block, Lucy Osterlund, Pastor Payton, Nancy Kingsbury (associate member)

 Board for Parish Education


Board for Stewardship

Vacant (Chair), Marian Flight, Sue Lombardo

 Board for Youth Ministry

Jennifer Robinson (Chair), Doris Arvis, Lupe Huner, Michelle Robinson, Heidi Sharber, Mike Sharber

 Board for Parish Properties

 Kurt Baacke (Chair), Shawn Dahlstrand, Dave Hill, Carla Luttinen, Sandra Prescott (Secretary), Peter Schoedel

 Board for Parish Administration and Finance

Sandra Prescott (Chair), Charles Brod, Kathi Dahlstrand, David Debowey, Audrey Gardner, Mark Prescott, David Walz (Treasurer)

Board for Lutheran Education

Elise Dalton (Chair), Timika Reeves, Mike Sharber, Heidi Sharber, Jenny Robinson

Special Events Committee

Vacant (Chair), Mary Block, Al Harris, Dave Hill

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