By Jenny Scott
On September 18, 2022, St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Barrington celebrated their 90th anniversary, as well as the culmination of a richly blessed capital campaign. Fittingly, the theme of the celebration was “O God, Our Help in Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come!”
St. Matthew’s Rev. Michael Brown explained, “We wanted a 90th anniversary celebration that not only gave thanks for 90 years of God’s incredible blessing and grace, but that also looked forward to 90 years of God’s work in and through the congregation in the Barrington community.”
Pastor Brown explained that before the service, emeriti pastors Rev. Robert Moll, who served as Senior Pastor (1981-2006), and Rev. Dr. Gerald Schalk, who served as Associate Pastor (1988-2006) and Senior Pastor (2006-2008), each shared memories of the church’s history.
Some of the rich history they shared included the fact that St. Matthew as a congregation came together in the middle of the Great Depression. Several years later, they purchased an old Free Methodist Church in Algonquin, put it on the back of a truck, and had it rolled into Barrington. (In 1942, St. Matthew also founded a daughter congregation, St. John Lutheran Church in Island Lake.) Then, in 1954, they purchased 10 acres just south of Evergreen Cemetery, and in 1957 they broke ground for its new church and parsonage. They added a building addition in 1972.
Rev. Dr. Allan Buss, President of the LCMS Northern Illinois District, was the guest preacher during the service. He began his sermon by bringing Grace, Mercy, and Peace from God our Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ, and also greetings from the other congregations of the Northern Illinois District. He gave thanks for the ministry that has happened not only at St. Matthew, but also through their missions in Mexico and Belize.
As the service also marked the Feast of St. Matthew, the church’s namesake, President Buss preached about how the apostle Matthew had a past that could be overcome by the love and forgiveness of Jesus, a present in which Jesus entered, and a future for which Jesus had plans for Matthew. He illustrated that like Matthew, the past of the individuals and congregation at St. Matthew have been covered over by the righteousness of Jesus.
The capital campaign that was also celebrated during the service resulted in the resources to reconstruct/renovate the upper floor of the church. Construction will begin in January 2023 and should be completed in about six months.
Pastor Brown described the dedication of the congregation of St. Matthew saying, “When I arrived in 2018, I saw a people faithful to God’s Word and His teachings, a tight-knit family that had been forged through challenging times, a congregation who donated their time, talent, and treasure to God’s Kingdom in amazingly generous ways. The faithfulness and passion of this church family is incredible.”
He added that many people worked to make the celebration a great day, including the 90th Anniversary Action Team and also some 40 musicians in ensembles that enhanced the worship music.
WITNESS: Encouraging personal witnessing, congregational engagement with their community, support of our NID partnerships and missions and sharing in a world mission field together.