Our Faith and Life
Biblical - Confessional - Liturgical - Lutheran
We are Biblical
"These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." - St. John 20:19
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the source of our faith and life. The Only True and Living God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit has given us His Word. The Bible is the pure, clear fountain of truth for our congregation and the whole world. God uses His Word to call us together and gives us new life to live in faith toward Him and fervent love toward one another. We are committed to receiving all that our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us in His Word and to living by faith alone in Him and His promises.
We are Confessional
"I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame." - Psalm 119:46
Having received the Word of God, we gladly confess it in our congregation and our community. We subscribe to the Book of Concord, the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, teaching the same doctrine God has given to us in His Word. We are dedicated to the task of making new disciples through teaching and Holy Baptism both in our community and around the world so that all might confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
We are Liturgical
"Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me" - 1 Corinthians 11:25
Saint Paul is a congregation formed by the Triune God in Baptism and the preaching of the Word. We gather around Scripture and the Body and Blood of Christ, singing and praying the sure Words given to us by God. Through the Church, Jesus Christ seeks to draw all people to Himself, forgiving their sins by his death on the cross and sanctifying them for a life of love for God and service to their neighbors. The way we pray and what we pray in the Services of God's House are drawn from the Word of God and centered in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. We use the finest music the Church has given to us in both liturgy and hymns.
We are Lutheran
"Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!" - Psalm 74:2
Our congregation was founded in 1856 by Lutherans in what was known then as New Gehlenbeck. We give thanks to God for His faithfulness to the generations who have received His Word and Sacraments here. Today we are dedicated to Lutheran doctrine drawn from the Scriptures and to teaching and confessing it in our life together as God's people.
We are also the Church of the Neon Cross
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." - 1 Corinthians 1:18
Our Church is located on Old Route 66 - the "Mother Road". The current building was dedicated in 1931 and rededicated in 2014. A well known feature of our building is the neon cross given in memory of a son of our congregation who died in World War II. This cross has been shining on Route 66 and now Interstate 55 for 70 years and is featured in various Route 66 guidebooks and websites drawing Route 66 travelers from all around the world to stop and take a photograph or two.
The Means of Grace Schedule
When the Word of God is preached and the Sacraments are administered
Holy Week Services
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them." - St. John 20:23
At this time Private Confession and Holy Absolution is offered by appointment with any of the pastors.
Sunday Morning Bible Class and Sunday School
"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." - Psalm 119:105
Sunday Morning Bible Class and Sunday School are on pause.
Wednesday Evening Bible Class
"Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your Name." - Psalm 86:11
Our Wednesday Class is currently on pause.
The Servants of Saint Paul
"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." - 2 Corinthians 4:5
The Rev. Benjamin Ball
Pastor Ball has served at St. Paul's since 2012. He previously served at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Dedham, Massachusetts and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Brookfield, Illinois. He is the 6th Vice-President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, representing the Synod's Central Region and is also an editor of Gottesdienst - The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy. Pastor Ball is a graduate of Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri and lives in the church parsonage with his wife, Serena, and their four children.
The Rev. William Gleason
Pastor Gleason has been the Associate Pastor of St. Paul's since 2009. He has served parishes in Texas, Missouri and Illinois. He is a graduate of Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife Cindy are parents to four adult children and have been blessed with six grandchildren. Pastor Gleason is a stained glass artisan and his work may be found at The Gleason Studio - Stained Glass and Fine Art.
The Rev. William Weedon
Assistant Pastor and Catechist
The Rev. William C. Weedon was installed as Assistant Pastor and Catechist of our congregation in September, 2019. He was our Senior Pastor from 1992 until 2012 when he began his service as Director of Worship and Chaplain of the International Center of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He also served as Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Burlington, North Carolina from 1986-1992. Pastor Weedon is a 1982 graduate of Concordia College, Bronxville, New York and received the M.Div (1986) and S.T.M (1998) degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. His published writings include Thank, Praise, Serve and Obey: Recovering the Joys of Piety, and See My Savior’s Hands. Pastor is the host The Word of the Lord Endures Forever, a daily podcast of Lutheran Public Radio. He and his wife Cindi have been blessed with three children and their spouses and nine grandchildren.
Janet began her service as our Kantor in the Summer of 2017. She has previously served Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Concordia Lutheran Church, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She holds a BS from Concordia University, Portland, Oregon and the MA in Organ Performance and Church Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She has served on the Synod's Commission on Worship as well as a sub-committee for the Lutheran Service Book.
Deaconess Fredericksen served as principal of our school from 2014-2017 and is now our parish deaconess. She received her Master of Arts degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has her teaching certificate from Concordia University Wisconsin; a diploma from Madison General Hospital School of Nursing; and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Deaconess also served several terms on the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Wisconsin.
Mrs. Kate Thoelke is the Principal of St. Paul Lutheran School where she also teaches Kindergarten. She graduated from Concordia University in River Forest with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Director of Parish Music certification. In addition to teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades and all levels of music in the past, she has previously been a full-time music director and organist. She and her husband, John, have three daughters.
Church and School Secretary
Joanie is a life long member of our congregation and has served as our school secretary since 1993. She added the responsibilites of church secretary in 2006. Joanie and her husband, Tom, are the parents of two and grandparents of four.
Missions and More
Preaching Christ Crucified - Teaching the Faith - Serving our Neighbor
Saint Paul Lutheran School
St. Paul Lutheran Church has established her school to proclaim the Gospel, teach the Holy Scriptures, and provide excellence in Lutheran and Classical education, developing faith, wisdom, eloquence, and virtue for all generations.
Our School's Values are to
Teach her students the Word of God and Luther’s Small Catechism.
Build up the homes and families of students and members of the congregation to serve God and His church.
Provide a mathematics and science curriculum that teaches the order and design of God’s creation.
Provide a language curriculum that prepares students to be master communicators and clear thinkers.
Provide a fine arts and music curriculum that instills the ability to discern beauty and virtue and nurtures God-given talents.
Provide daily and purposeful physical activity to discipline the body and mind.
Visit the School website here.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Metro-East Lutheran High School
Saint Paul Early Childhood Learning Center
"Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." - St. Matthew 19:14
We have operated Saint Paul Early Childhood Learning Center (SPECLC) since 2006. Our state licensed center provides Christ centered daycare, before and after school care and preschool for 3 year olds. It is located in the village of Hamel at 125 Wolf Avenue. For more information on the services we provide, contact the center's director, Ronda Johnson, at 618-633-3252.
Saint Paul Church Calendar
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all." - 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said,
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."