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

Pastor Riley 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 completed the Specific Ministry Pastor (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. 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 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 adult children.

Email (church office)

Helmke John


John Helmke - Pastor Emeritus



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