Saint Stephen Lutheran Church was begun by the Board of American Missions of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1963. A mission investigatory team led by Pastor Wilton “Bud” Anderson began by knocking on well over 250 doors in Antioch. The recommendation was made that a mission church be established. The Board of American Missions purchased the land on Hillside Avenue in Antioch, Illinois.
Pastor Wilton "Bud" Anderson, called as the Mission Church Developer, began with “Learning to be a Lutheran” classes held in the homes of parishioners for the first few months. The first worship service was held in Antioch High School's cafeteria on December 6, 1964, with 71 people in attendance. Although slow to start, the congregation grew to a sustainable size, and was officially organized 6 months later, on May 2, 1965, with Pastor Anderson as the first pastor. Once the congregation was up-and-running, a Call Committee was formed.
Pastor Philip Laurin was called as Saint Stephen's first permanent pastor; he served from 1969 thru 1979. During this time a parsonage was added adjacent to the church property.
In January of 1980, the congregation called Pastor Charles "Chuck" Miller. During Pastor Miller’s ministry, a new wing was added to the building, creating additional classroom space, as well as a bigger fellowship hall, a library and expanded office space. After 18 years of ministry, Pastor Miller retired. Following Pastor Miller’s retirement, Pastor Bob Trendel served as the interim pastor for nearly two years.
In March of 2000 Pastor Roger Black was called to be the fourth pastor of Saint Stephen. During Pastor Black’s ministry, major parking lot and roof repairs / renovations were undertaken. In August of 2006, Pastor Black accepted another call.
For a period of 23 months following Pastor Black’s departure, two interim pastors, Pastor Paul Hayes and Pastor Curt Gerald, led the congregation, along with several fill-in "guest" pastors.
In July of 2008, Pastor Ellen Arthur was installed as the fifth pastor of Saint Stephen. Under Pastor Arthur’s leadership the congregation has become very active in community outreach programs such as the Open Arms Food Pantry, Antioch Area Healthcare Accessibility Alliance (AAHAA), our Christmas Day Dinner for area Seniors and the new Parish Nurse Program. Air conditioning was added in the sanctuary and fellowship hall. 2016 saw Pastor Arthur accept a call to another church.
The members of Saint Stephen were once again tended by a variety of fill-in pastors for most of the next two years. One of them though, liked what she saw. So much so in fact, that Pastor Rebecca Gordon became our newest permanent pastor in the fall of 2017!