History of St. Andrews
The idea for establishing a congregation in the northwest area of Wichita began in the early 1960’s. Several men, formerly members of Zion Lutheran Church in northeast Wichita, came together in 1969 and circulated a petition among Lutherans living in the northwest area. Through this effort, approximately 60 families requested the Kansas District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to establish a congregation.
Under the blessing of God and the approval of the Kansas District, the first service was held on January 17,1971 in the South Pleasant Valley Grade School auditorium with 186 persons in attendance. In June 1971, worship services were moved to 29th and Porter, to a building that was rented and transformed into a worship center. It is fondly remembered as “The Drug Store.” Rev. John Pool of Ascension Lutheran Church served as St. Andrews’ first vacancy pastor with Chaplin Sam Widiger conducting the services.
Rev. Gerald Preuss was installed as the first pastor of St. Andrews on August 15, 1971. This was also the congregation’s Charter Sunday. A total of 202 members are listed on the charter, 61 of whom are still members. During Pastor Preuss’ years of service, seven lots were purchased at the corner of 25th and Hyacinth at a cost of $44,000. Pastor Preuss resigned from his ministry in May of 1977.
Rev. Arno Meyer was installed as the second pastor of St. Andrews on August 29, 1977. Under his leadership, a new worship facility was built at a cost of $180,000. It was dedicated on November 11, 1979 with the theme verse, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Acts 1:8
At its new church home, St. Andrews congregation grew and prospered, and the need for additional space soon became evident. An education wing was built and dedicated on March 14, 1984 at a cost of $175,000.
The growth of St. Andrews also meant that additional staff was needed. Rick Lovick was installed as the Director of Evangelism in June of 1985. Rick left St. Andrews in May of 1989 to pursue further education.
In the spring of 1987, Pastor Meyer accepted a call to serve as the Mission Developer in southwest Topeka. In June, Rev. Leonard Dale was selected as the Interim Pastor and he later accepted the call to become the third pastor of St. Andrews. He was installed on November 28, 1987. After serving for only a year and a half, Pastor Dale underwent heart surgery and died suddenly on June 16, 1989. The congregation grieved his death.
Following an eight month vacancy, Rev. Clifford Winter accepted the call to become the fourth pastor of St. Andrews. He was installed on April 8, 1990. In November of 1992, former Parish Administrator, Barbara Wiechman, became the Assistant to the Pastor. She was consecrated as a deaconess on August 1, 1993. Debra Proffitt, who joined the staff of St. Andrews in 1990, became the new Parish Administrator.
Pastor Winter retired from his ministry in September 2004. St. Andrews then had a 2 year vacancy until Pastor Jeffrey Duncan accepted the call to be the fifth pastor of St. Andrews Lutheran Church. Pastor Duncan was installed on January 21, 2007. In early 2007, Deaconess Barbara Wiechman retired from her position as Assistant to the Pastor.
Pastor Duncan retired from his position with St. Andrews on August 21st, 2017. After faithfully serving, leading and teaching the congregation for over 10 years, Pastor Duncan is helping Melissa, his wife, care for her father after a severe illness.
St. Andrews is a church with a blessed history and we pray that God will continue to bless all of our members and ministries as we continue to live by our church motto “Reaching Out, Looking Up, and Caring Within.”