Rev. Jacob Gawlik


Rev. Jacob M. Gawlik is an ordained minister serving on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America. His passions include liturgical and constructive theology as well as the
writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pastor Jacob began his ministry as the Pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on
August 1st , 2017. Prior to his arrival at St. John’s, Pastor Jacob served in various ministries
including the following:

  • Student Representative for Lutheran Youth Organization – North Side (2001 – 2003)
  • Peer Mentor at Luther High School North (2002 – 2003)
  • Carthage Undergrads Making Big Youth Activities (2003 – 2007)
  • Teaching Parish (Ministry in Context) Student at Reformation Lutheran Church in Chicago
    (2008 – 2009)
  • Student Chaplain with the ACPE at Montgomery Place in Chicago (2010)
  • Vicar serving St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Alliance, Ohio (2011 – 2012)
  • Pastor serving Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Suring, Wisconsin (2013 – 2015)
  • Dean of the Shawano Area Conference of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin (2014 – 2015)
  • Pastor serving Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Coloma, Wisconsin (2015 – 2017)
  • Dean of the Oshkosh Area Conference of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin (2016 – 2017)

Since his installation as Pastor of St. John’s, Pastor Jacob has also been active within the
Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA and the local Sterling – Rock Falls community in several
ways including:

  • Partnering with the CommUNITY VBS program and the UNITE Service Camp
  • Participating in the CommUNITY Clergy Book Study Group
  • Involvement with the Sterling Public Schools Student Mentoring Program
  • Participant in the Ecumenical Tuesday Morning Text Study Group
  • Serving as a member of the Northern Illinois Synod Social Ministry Committee (since 2018)
  • Serving as a member of the Northern Illinois Synod Racial Justice Subcommittee (since 2018)
  • Serving as a member of the Northern Illinois Synod Discipline Committee (since 2019)

Pastor Jacob grew up in a family of educators, his mother a preschool teacher and his father a
high school Tech Ed instructor. From an early age Pastor Jacob understood the importance of
education and faith, as such he attended Lutheran Schools from preschool through his years of
seminary education.

  • Messiah Lutheran School (class of 1999) in Chicago, Illinois
  • Luther North High School (class of 2003) in Chicago, Illinois
  • Member of the International Thespian Society
  • 2003 Award recipient for Best Technical Contribution for a stage production
  • 2003 Regional Silver Medal recipient for WYSE Computer Science competition
  • Carthage College (class of 2007) in Kenosha, Wisconsin – BA in Religious Studies
  • Religion Department Fellowship 2004 – 2007
  • Studied abroad in Italy during the winter of 2006 (focus area Franciscan Spirituality)
  • Led panel discussion on Religious Pluralism in spring of 2006
  • Senior Thesis – Getting to Know Theophilus the Recipients of Luke-Acts
  • The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (class of 2013) – MDiv
  • Advanced exegetical project – translated the book of 1 Peter

While a college student at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Pastor Jacob met his college
sweetheart and now wife Michelle. Together they have three wonderful children whom they
love dearly.

Pastor Jacob also enjoys a number of hobbies, including being an avid reader of comic books,
camping, biking, hiking, model making, just about anything with LEGOs, enjoys card games,
board games, and even video games. Pastor Jacob is also a fan of his hometown Chicago Bears.

Pastor Jacob Gawlik Headshot
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