St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Kicks Off its “Changing Lives Through Him” Capital Campaign


For Immediate Release
October 3, 2015

St John's Kicks off Capital CampaignOrchard Park, NY – St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church kicks off its Capital Campaign with great excitement and the next chapter in the life of St. John’s. The day was filled with great food and fellowship, and fun was had by all. St. John’s families and guests enjoyed taking a journey through the years and hearing the emotionally charged message from our Co-Chairs Jackie Clinard and Dave Horn. One of the highlights of the afternoon, which garnered the longest applause, was when Pastor Nate recognized the generations of families that have been part of St. John’s over its 109-year history.

We closed out the day with the youth of St. John’s unveiling the $1,225,625 raised thus far from 33 families and the congregation erupted in cheers. “Over the past few months I have had the pleasure to get to know so many members. St John’s is a welcoming church and I am honored to be part of the next chapter in the life of the church and their ministry in Western New York. We are off to a wonderful start of the next chapter,” said Mel Kalagian, Campaign Director of James Klote & Associates.

St John's Kicks off Capital Campaign2For one hundred nine years, St. John’s has been changing lives. St. John’s has been transformed by the Holy Spirit from a little church primarily serving people of German background to a dynamic, outwardly focused local church that serves over 1300 members and the community. The mission and vision of St. John’s continually strives to be faithful to the very words of the Lord Jesus himself, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).

It was 1906 when the first church service was held in Herman Myers home, and in 1908, men like Herman Meyer, Carl Witte, Carl Meyer, Frank Weber, Carl Butler and Edward Riemer, the founding fathers of the church, helped erect the wooden, tall-steeple structure on the site of what is presently part of Chestnut Ridge Park in southern Orchard Park. This served them well until 1945 when God called them to move into the village and a new chapter begun. God continues to lead the way for St. John’s. Ministries continue to grow and space is become harder and harder find.

St John's Kicks off Capital Campaign3In 2013, after a long inward and outward study of St. John’s and the community, leadership determined that the ministry of St. John’s could be enhanced by a bigger and better physical facility. The long-term vision is to construct a church building that will serve the community and bring more people to Christ. The total cost of their vision is estimated at $8 million in a two phase approach.

“We stand together at another moment of great possibility. We have reached another crossroad in St. John’s story. I pray that in this hour of opportunity we will become a strong united force as the Lord guides us into building the next chapter of St. John’s story, that one day generations after us will say, ‘Thank God they had the vision, determination, and love to risk and make possible this ministry for us!’” said Pastor Nate Hartke.

With offices in Falls Church, Virginia; St. Charles, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Toronto, Ontario, James D. Klote & Associates is the largest full-time, on-site stewardship consulting firm in North America. For additional information, please contact the firm at or (800) 360-2315.


Erin West
James D. Klote & Associates

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