History

The history of Lutherans in Jerseyville began in 1931 when the first Lutheran services were held. Over the course of the next 42 years, the Lutheran church and community of Jerseyville experienced some set backs, but also many more successes. In 1953, the Jerseyville mission was restarted by Pastor Kaul who held services in nothing more than a tent. On February 7, 1954, the name of the congregation changed from Faith to Hope Lutheran Church and the church and congregation turned over a new leaf of success. From the 13 souls that were a part of the first worship services in a rented building in 1931, Hope Lutheran Church has grown to over 200 baptized members and worshiping in our own building capable of seating 450. While we have grown in size, we have not forgotten our humble beginnings as several of our current members were instrumental at the beginnings of Hope.

On November 14, 1954, a dedication service was held for the first home of Hope Jerseyville in an A-frame building built by the members of the church. The congregation continued to praise and worship God as they received His gifts there until they out grew the building.

On October 22, 1978 the Congregation celebrated its Silver Jubilee with special services including the three previous Pastors. It was a great commemoration of the 25th anniversary of this Lutheran congregation and included the burning of the mortgage.

In 1986, Hope was out growing their current A-frame building and swapped churches with State Street Baptist Church. On Reformation Sunday, October 26, 1986, Hope’s new home at 1009 N. State Street was dedicated and remains the home of Hope to this day. The new building has a large sanctuary able to hold 450 people as well as an education wing which includes our Pastor’s study, the office of our Secretary, and many classrooms including a large youth room.

On June 18, 1995, Peter Kirby a seminary student at Concordia St. Louis and field worker at Hope, was ordained at Hope. He received his Divine Call to serve as a missionary in Jamaica. This was the first ordination service held at Hope.

In celebration of the 150th Anniversary (1847-1997) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, of which Hope is a member, the church took part in many activities and projects.  Many special offerings were given for the Synod, the District and to purchase a new sign along the Highway in front of the church building.

On September 14, 2003 the congregation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hope Jerseyville with a fantastic celebration of remembering the past and looking ahead to the future with the theme and focus that Christ is Hope’s foundation.

On July 12, 2015, our current Pastor, Rev. Brett Simek was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry and installed as Hope’s pastor after graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. His ordination marked only the second ordination to take place at Hope Lutheran Church.

The word of the Lord continues to be preached in its truth and purity and His Sacraments administered, and for this we offer all praise and thanks, glory and honor, to our great God and Lord, through the shepherding of the following pastors; Rev. Arthur Kaul, 1953 – 1957, Rev. Albert Schroeder, 1958 – 1962, Rev. Arthur Ledebuhr, 1963 – 1978, Rev. William Hessler, 1979 – 1984, Rev. David Wilshek, 1984 – 1986, Rev. Mark Etter, 1987 -1995, Rev. Stephen Schumacher, 1995 – 2000, Rev. Dr. Leslie Mitkos Jr. 2001 – 2007, Rev. Jeffrey B. Hemmer 2007 – 2011, interim Rev. Darwin Schrader 2011-2012, Gail R. Heimgartner 2012 – 2014, Rev. Brett Simek 7/2015  to present.

We give thanks and praise to the only one Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who has planted, grown, sustained, and been present with Hope Lutheran Church and her members from the very beginning and look forward to seeing all of the blessings that He has for her in the future.