Church History

History of Our Church

From the first exploratory meetings in private homes, to our current sanctuary, All Saints has a great history of growth.  Check out the chronological history of this growth below.



First exploratory meeting for establishing a Lutheran ministry in Byron area was held at Robert and Hazel Stein's home.  The meeting was held at the request of the Assistant to the President of the Illinois Synod, Lutheran Church in America, and with the help of the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oregon, IL and the Dean of the Northwest District, Illinois Synod.  There were 16 persons present representing 10 homes.

March 2 - First worship service, including a celebration of Holy Communion, was held at the Byron Cultural Center at 3 pm.

March 27 - At an important planning meeting at the Stein home, the name "All Saints" was chosen.

April 3 - Beginning of regular weekly worship services at the Byron Cultural Center.

July 6 - A group met informally with Pastor and Mrs. William J. Nelson at the Byron Cultural Center, and later affirmed the DMNA's decision to extend a call to him to serve All Saints as Pastor/Developer.

September 16 - Pastor Nelson and his family arrived in Byron from Mt Zion in Litchfield, IL.  Many meetings were held in the Nelson home, which also served as church office and storage facility for the first few years.

September 18 - Pastor William J. Nelson conducted his first worship service at All Saints Mission at Byron Cultural Center.  Average September weekly church attendance was 69.  

In November, the first issue of the church newsletter "The Spokesman" was published.



March 19 - The Youth Group was formed

April 16 - Pre-organizational meeting to affiliate with LCA.  First church council elected

May 7 - Organization Sunday with charter membership of 127 adults and 65 children, the current synod President gave the sermon.

May 20 - All Saints officially received at the Annual Illinois Synod Convention at NIU in DeKalb.

May 28 - William J. Nelson installed as first pastor



January 21 - First Annual Congregational Meeting

March 14 - Church council appointed a Building Committee

May 27 - First confirmation service (8 confirmands).



June 24 - $101,545 received from an insurance policy which had All Saints designated as the beneficiary.  Money would go towards the building project.

August 24 - Groundbreaking ceremony for worship and education center.  Illinois Synod Bishop Erickson was present, along with the general contractor and architect.



January 25 - Cornerstone laying ceremony following the morning worship service.

April 19 - First service in the new church held on Easter Sunday and with the celebration of Holy Communion

May 10 - First baptism in the new church (5 infants)

May 31 - Dedication Sunday - sermon by Bishop Erickson.  The 5,362 sq. ft. building cost $45.53 per sq. foot on a 3-acre site that cost $15,600.

October 25 - First group confirmed in our new church building

December 24 - First Christmas Eve in our new church with an 11 pm candlelight communion service.  Celebration of Christmas Day in the barn of Willem Dijstelbergens



All Saints began first year without program support from DMNA.

May 12 - First Mother/Daughter banquet.



April - Anonymous $30,000 check given for immediate debt reduction.

May 1 - Fifth anniversary with sermon by Pastor Wedig, who had envisioned a congregation in Byron when he served at St. Paul, Oregon.



May 18 - First Father/Son banquet.

May 20 - Special congregational meeting approved borrowing $100,000 from Lutheran Brotherhood to repay loan from Board of American Missions, LCA.



September 1- First outdoor contemporary Communion service.



June 8 - Celebration of Fifth Anniversary of our worship and education building including special music by Sunday School Choir with shared recollections by Building Committee members.  Special memento leather book marker with a picture of the church imprinted in gold.



December 20-22 - Pictures taken for a color pictorial directory to help celebrate our Tenth Anniversary as a church (May 1988)



January 1 - All Saints became a part of the newly organized Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).



November 5 - For the first time, All Saints had two groups of youth confirmed in one year.

November 12 - Special Congregational meeting to act on a proposed constitution for our church as a member of the ELCA.



March 1 - First church cookbooks, sponsored by WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

November 12 - Congregational Council approved the formation of a Staff Support Committee to begin its service in 1991.



January 20 - For the first time in our church history, we adopted a budget exceeding $100,000 ($8,487 over the 1990 Budget)

April 8 - Began special Lutheran Social Services of Illinois campaign ("Keep a Light Shining") with pledges of $9,064 to be paid over 3 years.

May 5 - Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of All Saints Worship and Education Center included Holy Communion, a sermon by Dr. Erickson; a solo by former member Diana Brown; a song accompanied by the All Saints Band; a performance of a musical, "We Like Sheep", by Sunday School children under the direction of Mary Jo Cassens; a delicious free luncheon; and a chance to purchase a magnetic notepad picturing the church.



May 31 - Celebration of Pastor Nelson's 25th Anniversary of Ordination.  Bishop Ronald Hasley preached at this celebration of Joy.  There were several oral perspectives given on "What is a Minister?" (friend's view, general view, youth's view, son's view). Pastor and Mrs. Nelson were presented with a generous financial gift from the congregation.  A brunch followed in the fellowship/learning center.

October:  Pictures taken for the third All Saints pictorial directory as the church approaches age fifteen in May, 1993. 



Began conducting two worship services (8:00 am and 10:30 am)



First time visit from the Covenant Players and their brief religious dramas.



Dedication of two new stained glass windows, representing Baptism and Communion.



Arrival of supplemental songbooks, "With One Voice".  Church break-in with $5,000 worth of damages and losses.  Dedication of final two stained glass windows representing Christmas and Easter.  Council approved an intrusion alarm system for the church.



Adopted a constitutional by-law establishing a Mission Endowment Fund.  Dedicated new Yamaha Clavinova (from an Organ Fund gift from Hank and Ginny Harger and gifts given in memory of Matthew Johnson.  New blacktop parking lot completed.   



Began Sunday School Fun Fair and church library.



Part time Parish Coordinator position created.  Religious book club started.  First musical contata celebrating the 22nd anniversary of All Saints.  Faith Inkubators confirmation program started.

Rummage sale started.  Church website began.  Building Expansion approved; selected architect and retained services of LLM for Capital Fund.


June 9 - Groundbreaking for the Expansion Project

December 15 - Dedication by the Rev. Janet Hunt, Assistant to the Bishop, of 6,000 square foot additional costing about $650,000.  First church craft bazaar held.



May 4 - Bishop Gary Wollersheim was here to deliver the sermon message.  This was the first time Bishop Wollersheim had visited All Saints to take part in the worship service.  He also participated in the Rite of Confirmation for 11 confirmands.



June - Pastor Bill Nelson retired after 30 years of service to the All Saints Lutheran Church family.  An Open House, sponsored by the Congregation Council, was held from 2:00 to 4:30 to honor Pastor Nelson and his wife, Bev, as they celebrate their retirement.  Pastor Art Stees served as interim pastor.  

July - Pastor Art Stees began service as our interim pastor and guided us through the process of selecting a new pastor.



June - Pastor Scott E. Schmidt accepted the call to become our new pastor.

June 29 - Pastor Scott Schmidt's first service at All Saints



Healthy Congregation Workshops were held the first three months of the year.  42 new members added to the church family.  Green Team created.  WELCA and Youth Group created a partnership with Lutheran World Relief to offer Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate.  Constitution and By-Laws brought up to date.  New garage was built on the hill to house overflow from the church and landscaping equipment.



High School Youth Confirmation classes were begun and attended by 5 young people.  An all-time high 20 Middle School students attended confirmation classes, for a total of 25 students.  36 new members welcomed to the church family.  Visioning Team was created and began the task of creating the vision of the future of All Saints.  An all church luncheon and meeting on August 29 generated information to help formulate our Long-Range and Strategic Plans and a new Mission Statement.  Attendance at Sunday Services continues to grow.  Replaced the Heating and Air Conditioning system in the fellowship hall in July.



Companion Congregation Covenant was signed with the Siloam Pastorate, Arcot Lutheran Church, India on May 1, 2011.  We were visited by Samuel Ruben Vijararuben, Junior Youth Leader of the Arcot Lutheran Church on July 31.  Celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Siloam Pastorate by sending them a banner commemorating the event and including them in prayer on September 11.  Updated telephone and internet service in July.  Held a Barnabas Care Giving Seminar in September, instructed by Dr. Chuck Olson of LSSI.



All Saints celebrates its 35th Anniversary.  New member directories created.

September 9 - Pastor Scott Schmidt resigns to take a new call in Princeton, IL

October 27 - Pastor Marilyn Hanson begins her interim ministry at All Saints.



May - New cranberry Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnals donated by the William and Janet Lewis Family.

July 27 - Pastor Janet Wold accepts the call to be the third Pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church

September 21 -Pastor Janet's first service at All Saints

October 19 - Pastor Janet Wold installed as third pastor of  All  Saints Lutheran Church



All Saints offers monthly Blues Concerts on the first Sunday afternoon of each month beginning in June

July 3 - LOMC Swing Choir performs at All Saints



August 15 - WELCA Fundraiser results in new carpeting for the Fellowship Hall



November 5 - A special reception was held at the church to celebrate Pastor Janet Wold's 30th Anniversary of Ordination



July 12 - New Clavinova put in service. Purchased using memorial funds from Rosie Hyle, Lois Lapp, and private donations from congregation members.

September - Office furnace replaced



Beginning March 22,  the COVID-19 Coronavirus severely altered the way we minister.  We were not able to meet in person for several months and relied on live-streaming though our Facebook Page and recorded services on the website to get the Word out to the congregation.  Zoom based meetings, Bible Studies, and Sunday School classes were held with great success.  The generosity of our congregation sustained the church through this difficult time. 



Began fundraising to replace the church roof.

May 31, 2023




9:00 am 



About All Saints

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Amazon Wish List



ASLC Constitution




Monday Afternoon Bible Study 1:30 pm Meets via Zoom.  Led by Pastor Janet Wold.  Contact Pastor Wold if interested in participating.

Tuesday Night Bible Study 7:30 pm Meets in the Main Conference Room Led by Steve Reid 

Wednesday Afternoon Bible Study 1:30 pm meets in the Fellowship Hall.  Led by Pastor Janet Wold. 

Sunday Morning Bible Study 10:00 am meets In the Small Conference Room.  Led by Steve Jones. 






June 19-23 - Vacation Bible School

July 30 - Timberlake Playhouse



Scripture Text 



May 28 – Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

John 20:19-23



June 4 – The Holy Trinity 

Genesis 1:1--2:4a 

Psalm 8 

2 Corinthians 13:11-13 

Matthew 28:16-20 


June 11 – 2nd Sunday after Pentecost 

Hosea 5:15--6:6 

Psalm 50:7-15 

Romans 4:13-25 

Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26


June 18 – 3rd Sunday after Pentecost 

Exodus 19:2-8a 

Psalm 100 

Romans 5:1-8 

Matthew 9:35—10:8  


June 25 – 4th Sunday after Pentecost 

Jeremiah 20:7-13 

Psalm 69:7-10,16-18 

Romans 6:1b-11 

Matthew 10:24-39


July 2 – 5th Sunday after Pentecost 

Jeremiah 28:5-9 

Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18 

Romans 6:12-23 

Matthew 10:40-42 


July 9 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost 

Zechariah 9:9-12 

Psalm 145:8-14 

Romans 7:15-25a 

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 


July 16 – 7th Sunday after Pentecost 

Isaiah 55:10-13 

Psalm 65:9-13 

Romans 8:1-11 

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 


July 23 – 8th Sunday after Pentecost 

Isaiah 44:6-8 

Psalm 86:11-17 

Romans 8:12-25 

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 


July 30 – 9th Sunday after Pentecost 

1 Kings 3:5-12 

Psalm 119:129-136 

Romans 8:26-39 

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52


Emergency Response Plan


The following group meets weekly at All Saints.



Alcoholics AnonymousMeets Tuesday and Thursday Evenings at 7:00 pm




Meets Sunday Evenings at 6:00 pm


What is the ELCA?






Find out about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the history of this wonderful organization on our What is ELCA page.



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