St. Paul Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2017

Apr 26, 2017    Comments Off    Posted under: Community, Fellowship, News & Events

It was 1966 and Ankeny’s population was under 9,000. Rev. Don Illian and his wife, Kathy, moved to Ankeny to investigate the prospects of starting a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod congregation. Soon after moving to Ankeny, Sunday afternoon Bible classes and a old sanctuary photoFriday evening instruction class were held in the basement of the parsonage where the Illians resided.

By February 5, 1967, arrangements had been made to conduct worship services at the American Legion Building in Uptown Ankeny. By Sunday, April 9, 1967, a constitution had been prepared and was signed, making that day known as Charter Sunday. In May 1967 a four acre parcel of land was purchased from the Spahr Realty Company to build a new church. They broke ground for the new building in July 1968 and the facility was completed by November 1969. At that time, the church consisted of 261 baptized members.

Fast forward and it’s 2017, Ankeny’s population has grown to over 55,000 and St. Paul, now with over 1,000 baptized members, has been a fixturechurch outside photo of the community for 50 years. Rev. Don Illian was the pastor at St. Paul until 1980. Other clergy include Rev. Goodsman from 1981-1982, Rev. Bruce Linderman from 1982 to 1999, Rev. Ed Grimm 2000 to 2003, Rev. Mark Baldwin 2004-2016 and Rev. Duncan McLellan 2016 to present.

The 50th Anniversary celebration started Sunday, February 5 and concluded in July with an Anniversary Gala banquet.




February 5 – Anniversary Jubilee   

February 11-12, Rev. Illian Returns for Celebration

St. PauIMG_9628l’s first Pastor, Rev. Don Illian, returned to Ankeny on February 11 and delivered the sermon at the Journey  Service  and both worship services on Sunday, February 12. Pastor Illian, his wife, Kathy, their two sons and their  families,  enjoyed a cake reception in the FLC. Several charter members were present so they reenacted the signing of  the  constitution (which was originally signed on Sunday, April 9, 1967).  A brief Q&A session allowed Pastor Illian to  answer a few questions and reminisce about his time at St. Paul. Cindy Twedt presented Pastor Illian and Kathy with  the Bible that was used at St. Paul for many years. It had been presented to them after the death of Pastor Illian’s  father, then it was used on the altar for many years. Aaron Poock crafted a beautiful oak stand for the Illian’s to display the Bible. We thank everyone who attended the worship services and reception. A very special thanks to all the 50th Anniversary committee members who worked hard to make this a memorable event for Pastor Illian and everyone at St. Paul.


April 9 – Charter Sunday – Rev. Bruce Linderman, Guest Preacher

April 9, 120170409_102502967 the constitution was signed by the charter members. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this day, Rev. Bruce Linderman will be our guest preacher. Pastor Linderman was at St. Paul from 1982 to 2000. Please join us for a cake reception in between Sunday worship services. We also enjoyed visiting with the Linderman children, Aaron, Rachel, Naomi and Hannah, along with their families.



May 19 – Night with the Cubs.

Iowa Cubs Game      Iowa Cubs Game 2

June 17 – Anniversary Festival.

St. Paul members, our neighbors, friends and families enjoyed an afternoon of carnival games, free food, bounce houses and a special visit from CY.

Festival    Festival 2    Festival 3    Festival 4    Festival 5     Festival 6     Festival 7

July 15 – Anniversary Gala. Winding up our six month celebration was an adults only banquet at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ankeny. We enjoyed delicious food, fellowship, a short program and lively music by the High Society Big Band featuring Jon Jero and Arkay Brown of own St. Paul family.  Specials guest speakers were Steve Turner, IDW President, and Brent Smith from Mission Central.

20024212_1512143718821773_6600797436788754389_o  20170715_201328_00420170715_202434 20170715_200017 High Society Band20170715_212819

Sunday, July 16- Pastor James Fernandez, Guest Preacher




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