Weekend Service Times: Sunday 8:00 am and 10:45 am

Our Story

How it all started...

The year was 1966, the place was Ankeny, a central Iowa town with a population of 6,000 residents.

The Mission Board of Iowa District West received permission to start a mission field in Ankeny, a rapidly growing community that did not have a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church.
A call was issued to Pastor Donald Illian, along with his wife, Kathryn.  They moved into the new parsonage at 810 SW Sharon Drive. There was no congregation to greet them and no church to inspect. The parsonage basement was finished with an office and a large meeting room to conduct church business.

Pastor Illian began canvasing the area for "known Lutherans." A newsletter called the Mission Memo was sent out to prospects. For five Sunday afternoons he ventured out and had enormous success with his effort. One hundred families were committed to attend the first worship service on February 5, 1967. Services were held in the American Legion Building on the corner of SW 3rd Street and Cherry with 141 worshipers in attendance. The shelter house at Wagner Park was used for VBS.

The constitution of the congregation was signed in a special service on April 9, 1967 with 81 communicant members and 156 baptized souls comprising the congregation. On April 16, 1967 the first church council was installed. In May of 1967 four acres were purchased from the Spahr Realty Company on SE Sharon Drive.

On July 28, 1968 a ground breaking service was held (see first photo). Following the sermon at the American Legion an automobile procession drove to the site of the new church at SE 11th and Sharon Drive. An outline of the building was drawn on the ground showing where each of the rooms were and small white crosses marked each room. The congregation formed a line around the perimeter of the building. The children opened the service singing The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock.

On November 23, 1969 a dedication of the new building was held.
The mortgage was paid off in February 1987 and a special mortgage burning service was held April 12, 1987.

Since its organization St. Paul has been faithfully served by ten pastors. They are: Donald Illian, Ron Goodsman, Bruce Linderman, Ed Grimm, Mark Baldwin, James Fernandez, Aaron Hannemann, Duncan McLellan, Andrew Coop, and Joel Newton.

Expanding the vision...

All our teaching and doctrines come from the Bible and we offer several opportunities during the week for you to encounter God and his love for us in Jesus.
 Children are a major focus of our congregation’s ministry. We have an active Sunday school and Midweek education program to assist parents in teaching God’s Word to their children.
St. Paul also maintains a Christian preschool which offers children structured activities in a Christ-centered environment.

Where we are headed...

St. Paul Lutheran Church has been blessed with many gifts and contributions, enabling us to eliminate the mortgage for our addition in 2018.