Pastor Tom Johnson
"My hope and prayer is to partner with the people at First Saint Paul's in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Chicagoland community. As Christians we have a treasure trove of hope, meaning, and assurance of forgiveness and eternal life. Come by and visit us for worship or drop by the church office. You are always welcome and I look forward to meeting you."
Pastor Tom Johnson was born in Lafayette, Indiana and grew up in West Lafayette near Purdue University’s campus. He attended Indiana University as a music performance major studying classical guitar before changing to linguistics and Spanish. He attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Theology degree with an emphasis in intercultural church planting. He also earned a Master of Arts degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana and became an ordained servant of the Word in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
Pastor Tom served several church plantings in Texas and Sweden before he was called to plant Christ the King Presbyterian Church in El Paso, Texas which continues to thrive today. He has also served two LCMS congregations, Saint Luke Lutheran Church (Wheaton, KS) and
Saint Paul Lutheran Church (Melrose Park, IL).
In May 2010, he received a Doctorate in Ministry from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with an emphasis in urban preaching. He has three children: Natalie (20), Daniel (18), and Joseph (15). The whole family enjoys music including voice, piano, guitar, oboe, English horn, trombone, trumpet, and flute.
Pastor Johnson was installed as Pastor of First Saint Paul's Lutheran on May 8, 2011.
Director of Family Ministry and Outreach
"I serve at First Saint Paul’s to help develop disciples of Christ through biblical study, educational curriculum, and servant leadership with an overall vision for family and outreach ministries that align with the vision and mission of First Saint Paul’s to proclaim Christ, nurture faith and serve others. God’s blessings to you as we journey together this side of heaven."
Since earning her certification, Marlo served as an intern and called DCE at St. Peter Lutheran in St. Joseph, MO for 2 ½ years. She also served with Lutheran Urban Mission Agency in Kansas City, MO at their coffee house as overseer of the art gallery. She then volunteered at the Urban Scholastic Center in Kansas City, KS, and was eventually brought on as staff to direct Life Enrichment, a mentor based after-school discipleship and leadership program for fourth and fifth graders. In 2011-12, Marlo served St. Matthew Church and three Lutheran schools in Hong Kong, teaching the English language to students there.
Laurie Bart graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 2011 with a degree in English. After graduation, Laurie worked as the dispatch supervisor and lieutenant of communications in Concordia's Public Safety Department until February 2015, when she became part-time church secretary at First Saint Paul's.
Laurie and her husband, John, have been members at First Saint Paul's since 2013. Laurie is also an active oboist and regularly plays, along with other talented musicians, for our services and seasonal concerts.
Steven Wente has served as cantor (music director) at First Saint Paul’s since September 2010, where he directs the First Saint Paul’s Choir, participates in worship planning, and prepares for special music events such as the annual Christmas Concert and Holy Week services. He follows a long line of outstanding church musicians serving First Saint Paul’s, including Albert Beck, Charles W. Ore, Patricia Legge, James Rogner, Paul Nicholson, and Maurice Boyer.
Steven is distinguished professor of music at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, Illinois, where he teaches applied organ and music history, and serves as the organist to the chapel. He has served on the national board of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and currently is on the board of the Fox Valley chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Active as an organ recitalist, he holds undergraduate and masters degrees from Concordia and a doctorate in organ performance from Northwestern University.
Steven's wife Susan is also a graduate of Concordia, River Forest. They have two adult children, Margaret Danilovich and Karla Wente, both physical therapists in the Chicago area.
Margaret Danilovich has played organ at First Saint Paul's since the fall 2009. Margaret attended Concordia University, River Forest where her piano teachers included Craig Sale, Daniela Mineva, and Kuang-Hao Huang. She studied organ with Steven Wente.
During college, she was an active recitalist, accompanist, and sang with the Kapelle choir. Margaret earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Northwestern University in 2007 and currently is a physical therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.