Wesley H. Gallup was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on February 2, 1916. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1939 from De Paul University in Chicago. While working on his master’s degree at Northwestern University, he taught American history at Bradford High School in Kenosha. In 1946, he received his divinity degree at Chicago Lutheran Theological seminary and went into the ministry at Ascension Church in Pontiac, Michigan. On April 1, 1947, the Reverend Wesley Gallup came with his wife, Mildred, and their two children, Jacquelyn, 6, and Gary, 3, to St. Paul’s. They resided in the city of Waukegan at 15 North Elmwood.
Pastor Gallup faithfully met the needs of his congregation. Church attendance and offerings increased requiring duplicate Sunday church services to be held. Ladies formed an altar guild and a couples club began. Church pews and a Hammond organ with chimes were installed. A parsonage was purchased, lots were purchased, and plans were approved for the building of a new church.
Besides serving on several committees in the Church Federation, he was a member of the Waukegan Salvation Army advisory board. He was also chairman of the music committee of the Illinois Synod of the United Church in America. In 1950, he was appointed by the National Lutheran council to be the contact pastor for the Lutheran personnel at Great Lakes and Fort Sheridan. He served as district chairman of the Lake county and north Cook county United Lutheran churches in their Christian Higher Education.
Pastor Gallup’s father-in-law was William Seidemann, one of the founders of Snap-On Tools. The Seidemann’s provided much financial support in the purchase of parsonage and the building of a new church.
On January 15, 1952 Pastor Gallup told the congregation that he had accepted the pastorate of Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, He served there for 18 years, and then became senior pastor at Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church for eight years, retiring in the mid-70”s. His wife Mildred said “He was very faithful to his work. It was seven days a week, his whole lifetime while he was in the ministry.” Pastor and his wife were known to have collected one of the most extensive 18th century porcelain collections in Wisconsin.
Reverend Gallup died of a heart attack at his home in Whitefish Bay on August 16, 1990. He was 74 years old.
It was in 1948 that the church began to flourish, both in attendances and offerings. During Pastor Gallup’s five years pastorate at St. Paul’s communing (active) adult membership rose from 109 to 357. The average Sunday morning worship service attendance doubled in number from 94 to 200. To handle the increase, a new early worship hour was added to the regular Sunday morning service on February 3, 1949. The new 9:30 a.m. service was the same as the 11:00 a.m. service with the exception of a soloist in place of choir. Giving to the local church and benevolences also increased 200 per cent during the past five years.
Of note, Alan Malheim became the first Acolyte during the June 29, 1947 church service. An Altar Guild, which prepares the chancel for every service, was organized by Mrs. George Kopstain in August, 1947, and a Couples Club of St. Paul’s held its first meeting on November 2, 1947.
Hammond Organ and Chimes
At a special congregational meeting on October 12, 1947, 57 members voted unanimously to purchase a used electric Hammond Organ for $2,210.34. The church paid cash for the organ; the money being borrowed from the building fund to be repaid on or before October 16, 1948 through individual donations, sale of the old organ, and special Christmas and Easter drives, etc. The organ was heard for the first time on October 19th at the 11 a.m. worship at St. Paul’s. Mrs. Harold Rowe, the organist, played “Meditation” by Morrison, “Reverie” by Schumann and “Postlude in C: by Lemmens. The choir sang under the direction of George Perl and the soloist of the morning was Marjorie Fredholm. Dedication of the organ was held on November 2nd. Pastor Gallup thought the organ would be used in the new church for at least the next 10 to 15 years (It actually served us for 32 years). At the January 11, 1949 Congregational Meeting, Pastor Gallup noted the organ was completely paid for in 1948. The old organ was sold for $300 to a party in New York who also paid for shipping costs.
In April 1948, a Chimes Fund was established with money of $50 received from the confirmation class. With the sponsorship of Ladies Aid, a set of memorial chimes were purchased at a cost of $546.78 and installed on December 4th for outside amplification. The Maas Cathedral Chimes were dedicated at the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, December 12th.
Purchase of a Parsonage and Plans for a New Church
When the motion to extend a call to Reverend Gallup was made on January 26, 1947, a salary of $3,000 a year was offered until as such a time a parsonage was secured. At that time his total salary plus cost of his rent shall be $3,000 per year. On April 1, 1947, Reverend Gallup and his family came to St. Paul’s and resided at 15 North Elmwood in the city of Waukegan.
In June 1947, a building committee was appointed to begin plans for a new church. On December 9th, they met with Mr. Elwood L. Bowman, Divisional Secretary of Church Extension under the Board of American Mission of the U.L.C.A.
As a basic premise for the discussions it was assumed that:
- Paul’s desired to build a new church.
- A loan from the Board of American Missions will be needed.
- At the present rate of growth, and considering the possibilities within this area, a communing membership of 500 could be anticipated 10-12 years from now.
Mr. Bowman indicated a seating capacity of 235 was recommended for a communing membership of 500, the present old church building be kept up to its present state of repair and should be retained after the new one is built. Also that the new building should not have a basement included in its plans. He advised that the purchase of a parsonage would be a matter of good business if it could be obtained for a reasonable sum. He also recommended that our present mission status before the Board of Missions be retained, as this will make for ease of application later for a loan.
In conclusion: Mr. Bowman stated there is a need for the raising of further funds and an increase in membership before St. Paul’s can effectively present a loan application before the Board of American Mission, i.e. increasing membership of about 160 to 200 during the next year and having $68,000 in the Building Fund.
On November 4, 1948, Mr. William Seidemann, Pastor Gallup’s father-in-law, made a proposal in respect to pledging funds for the Church Building fund, to set aside temporarily this drive in 1949 and he would match dollar for dollar the amount the members would designate to be used for the Parsonage Building fund. This was perfectly in line with Mr. Bowman’s suggestion that the immediate need of our congregation is to secure a church parsonage and not a new Church because we aren’t filling our present church to anywhere near capacity. Mr. Seidemann’s challenge was accepted. The following month, the Seidemann’s gave 100 share of Snap-on common stock ($1,400) towards a down payment of the parsonage, and Dr. Samuel Keller wrote a check of $500.
A parsonage committee, consisting of: F. Graff, Jr., J. Otteson, F. Jelava, W. Seidemann, R. Dixon and Pastor Gallup ex-officio recommended the purchase of the present home of Pastor Gallup located at 15 North Elmwood Avenue, at the offered price of $13,527. The annual church income at that time was $10,236. Mr. Graff Jr. explained that of all the residences visited by the parsonage committee the pastor’s present home was by far the very best purchase the church could make. The voting by the congregation was 86 affirmative votes of yes and 2 votes no. In August 1949, parsonage was purchased and refurbished by members of the congregation.
A special meeting of the congregation was held on August 13, 1950 to consider purchase of two vacant lots on the southwest corner of Lewis Ave. and Garden Place. The size of the two lots is 119’ x 145’. The reasons for purchasing the lots were:
- Parking space which is very much needed.
- Probable building site for the new church.
- Or it could be used for a parish home and other building for the future.
Dr. Bowman of the ULCA Board of Missions expressed the need for a larger area than the one we owned to provide a building for a larger congregation in the future. On June 1950, a total of three lots on Lewis Avenue were purchased in anticipation of a new church building. The cost of two of the lots (37 & 38) was $3,500 less donation to St. Paul’s of $200, or $3,300. Space was now provided for the parking of 50 cars.
A second drive for the church building fund was launched on November 2, 1950 with a goal of $68,000. Three hundred persons were present at the Whittier school gymnasium for the “new church” banquet. But toward the latter part of 1951 it became apparent that the goal to be raised by the congregation by the end of 1952 would not be realized. The figure closer to $45,000 would be more of a reality. This delayed the approval for a loan from the Board of Missions.
On December 2, 1950, the church council and the “new church” building committee met with Dr. Elwood L. Bowman to further plans for a new church building to be erected on the southwest corner of Lewis Avenue and Garden Place. A design was approved and Architect T. Norman Mansell of Philadelphia was asked to proceed with architectural plans.
Pastor Gallup wrote: “Design No. M173211 with 80,400 cubic feet of space has a basement only under the chancel. This design seats 203 in the nave, 35 in the chancel, 17 in the baptistery, making a total seating of 255. This plan of Gothic design agreed by all church councilmen and the new church committeemen present was the best for our needs at a cost to fit our budget. The parish unit (our present Educational Unit) could be built later.”
In a following letter from Bowman to the Board of American Missions: “The Church Council tentatively approved the Memphis Series Design M-238 to be enlarged by widening the building 3 feet to provide 7 instead of 6 seating per pew in nave.
The Church Architecture Committee provided the description of St Paul’s Series M-268 on July 6, 1951.
- One story church and parish hall building (educational unit) with partial basement under chancel. Exterior is stone construction in English style.
- Plan to be constructed in two units.
- Church wing contains the vestibule with cloak rooms on either side, the nave seating 238, a baptistery alcove seating 17, the chancel and choir, the latter seating 30, a sacristy, class room, a rear foyer later to become a future cloister connecting with the parish building.
- The parish building contains three class rooms, an assembly hall with stage at one end and class rooms along one side of the length of the hall
On September 6, 1951, Herb Seyring agreed to accept the chairmanship of a whole “new church” building committee. New members of the committee were H. Roberts, Dr. R. Ewig, and M Fasse. Pastor Gallup wrote to Mansell on September 11th explaining the delay in St. Paul’s response to their queries. “This is in reply to your letter of September 7th. I am sorry to say that my “new church” committee appointed the first of this year did almost nothing for the first six months of this year and so I have now appointed a whole new committee. I think these men will do a good job.”
Pastor Wesley Gallup announced that the congregation of St. Paul’s Lutheran church unanimously adopted the plans for building a new English Gothic church at its January 15, 1952 Annual Congregational Meeting. The congregation is in the midst of a three-year drive to raise $68,000 so as to be able to break ground in the summer of next year. The church will be built across the street from the present church site on the newly purchased lots now being used for parking.
At a council meeting on July 12, 1951, church councilman Dr. Rudolph Ewig spoke of his concern about Pastor Gallup’s physical condition. With council’s approval, pastor was granted another month of vacation with pay in order to give him required rest and quiet.
On January 3, 1952, Pastor Gallup submitted his letter of resignation. Council members attempted to persuade him to reconsider his resignation. They tried to find ways of easing pastor’s tension and aid him in his duties.
The inactivity of members of the congregation and poor response to the pastor’s call for assistance was considered as the chief reason for the pastor’s resignation was discussed three days later at a special council meeting. Jens T. Otteson reported that the pastor showed willingness to reconsider his resignation if the people of St. Paul’s showed and proved that they are very strongly behind him and by accepting some of the responsibility which is rightfully theirs in the work of the Lord. The council felt that Pastor Gallup has served the people of St. Paul’s well, both spiritually as well as physically, more than any other pastor before him and they would do everything possible in their power to retain him in St. Paul’s. His work has always been highly commendable.
It was suggested that the laymen league have women as well as men as members. This would aid in closer associations in the church. It would also do more good for St. Paul’s to have women performing more important roles such as deaconesses and even council seats.
A question was asked of the pastor at the January 15, 1952 Annual Congregational Meeting. What was the pastor’s motive for his resignation? The pastor believed that to this point he has done all he could do to help St. Paul’s Church in its progress, and that a new pastor from now on could do a lot better job, especially in the new church drive. In a vote of confidence, 115 voted to reject his resignation and 1 voted to accept his resignation.
An article in the News Sun read: “The Rev. Wesley H. Gallup, president of the Waukegan Church Federation, has resigned as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran church to become pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Epiphany in Milwaukee. The resignation becomes effective Feb. 1, 1952.”