The history antedating the formation of the ILC begins in 1970 when Wayne A. Popp, Pastor of St. Mark's Ev. Lutheran Church, Sauk Village, Ill., and Richard W. Shekner, Pastor of Gloria Dei Ev. Lutheran Church, Tinley Park, Ill., were suspended from the Lutheran Heritage Hour radio broadcast for publicly upholding the integrity of King James Version (1611) of the Bible over various modern erring translations.
In the ensuing controversy, (1970 to 1974), Pastor Popp resigned from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 1970, while Pastor Shekner was suspended from the same on January 19, 1974.
Since the above named congregations could not retain their respective pastors (Popp and Shekner), and remain members of the W.E.L.S., they chose to resign from the W.E.L.S. and remained independent until 1979 when the I.L.C. was founded.
An Interim Period (1971-1979)
In 1971 the Lutheran Reformation Hour began broadcasting over radio station WYCA, Hammond, Indiana, with Pastors Popp and Shekner as the speakers. This endeavor was solely supported at first by the Haemker brothers of Crete, Ill. And by the grace and mercy of God the broadcast is still heard today over radio stations in the Midwest, West Coast, and Europe.
Also in 1971, through the mission efforts (which began about 1965) of Gloria Dei Ev. Lutheran Church and her Pastor, Our Savior's Ev. Lutheran Church was established in Morris, Illinois.
During this interim period, in September 1977, the Lutheran Theological Studies Center was incorporated in the state of Illinois as not-for-profit organization. Its mission was to train men to become pastors faithful to the "inspired Word of God," and to offer men and women the theological training necessary for teaching in our Christian day schools. Men studying for the ministry received practical training by participating in the pastoral duties in congregations in our fellowship.
On November 5, November 19, and December 3, 1978 representatives from Gloria Dei Ev. Lutheran Church, Tinley Park, Ill., Our Savior's Ev. Lutheran Church, Morris, Ill., and St. Mark's Ev. Lutheran Church, Sauk Village, Ill. attended meetings to discuss the forming of a conference and to draw up a constitution and by-laws.
With the same representation as stated above, a meeting was held on March 25, 1979 wherein the following business was transacted:
1. The Illinois Lutheran Conference was chosen as the conference name.
2. The proposed ILC constitution and by-laws were ratified.
3. The ILC recognized the LTSC as its theological training center.
4. Congregation presidents, the faculty/board of regents of the LTSC would serve as the LTSC assignment committee pending approval of the LTSC board of regents.
5. The date for the first annual ILC Delegate Convention was set for July 26 and 27, 1979.
In September 1979 the ILC was incorporated in the state of Illinois as a not for profit organization.
From its founding in 1979 the ILC grew from three member congregations to six in 1986.
At present the ILC has four member congregations.
Most ILC mission endeavors are made through the Lutheran Reformation Hour (LRH) radio broadcast. While the LRH is a separate entity, the ILC considers it a major part of ILC mission efforts.