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Who Is Jesus?

Who Is Jesus?

Who is Jesus?

No one else has influenced history as He has.

Jesus is the Son of God. Old Testament prophets spoke of His coming and described the eternal and life-changing impact He would have. 

Jesus is both God and man. He stilled the seas and walked on water. With a touch of His hand, He cured incurable diseases. He restored life to those who had physically died.

Jesus personifies love.  He paid the ultimate price so that we could live with Him forever. He sees us through the eyes of love. 

He loves us in spite of every hurtful thought, every harmful word, and every wrongful action. These are all a result of sin, which contaminates everything we do. It is behind every broken home, every empty life, every infirmity, every damaged emotion, every sorrow and grief. And as the Bible says, the end result of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). But Jesus Himself was sinless; only He could pay the penalty for our sins. 

Because of his love, He suffered, died, and rose again.

We are forgiven. All who believe in Jesus are guaranteed eternal life with Him in heaven. 

Why did Jesus do this? Because Jesus is love.


What Difference Does Jesus Make?

Suffering and pain touch everyone. At times life seems like an endless cycle of hopelessness. Even Christians, who claim that Jesus is the source of hope amidst the struggles, still suffer. They still struggle. They still die. So, what's the point? What difference does Jesus make?

First, look at the brokenness that invades your life—those things that cause guilt, shame, and grief. They exist because of a condition called sin—sin separates you from God and robs you of the peace, comfort and hope you desperately crave. And no matter how hard you try, there isn't anything you can do to make things right again on your own.  That's where Jesus comes in. 

Jesus knows the misery you feel. Jesus makes the difference at that very point—when your pain intersects your cry for help. Jesus is God's answer to that cry. 

Jesus took the punishment you deserve. He died in your place so that you can be forgiven. Because you are forgiven, you can have the comfort of knowing you are at peace with God and the certainty that He provides you with the strength to cope with guilt, shame and grief. 

And because of what Jesus has done for you, your past is forgiven, your present can be lived with confidence, and your future is guaranteed. 

For all who believe in Jesus, an everlasting world—without suffering, sin and death—is assured. This glorious place called heaven is where you will see Jesus face to face. 

That's the difference Jesus makes!


Over 80 years have passed since the Reverend A.J. Lange, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Summit decided that a Lutheran church was needed in the Village of Willow Springs.  After holding services temporarily in a private home and in the Willow Springs Public School, “the little white church on the hill,” a 24x40 foot white frame structure was erected on the corner of Nolton and Cedar Streets at a cost of $1,713.50, and was dedicated on December 16, 1928.  Pastor Lange, assisted by several students and candidates for the holy ministry, conducted services until 1940 when the Pastor of Trinity, German Church Road, was asked to service both Trinity and Grace congregations.  Pastors William L. Bartling, A.L. Oltroge, John H. Bohlman, and Stephen G. Mazak, Jr. each serviced under this dual parish arrangement.

As the years passed and the congregation grew, it became evident in 1961 that a full-time pastor and a new church building would have to be considered to meed the congregation’s needs.  The new structure, as you see it today, was completed and dedicated on March 31, 1963.  Simple in design, the sanctuary imparts a feeling of peace and tranquility.  The laminated beams of the wood decked roof soar towards the heavens, but one’s eyes are drawn almost immediately to the life-sized chancel crucifix, a copy of one of the famous crucifixes of Oberammergau, Germany; hand carved by the well-known woodcarver, John O. Torrell of Palatine, Illinois.

Rev. Walter C. Kalbhen served as the first resident pastor from 1961-1965.  Rev. David R. Krampitz came to Grace in 1966 and faithfully served the congregation for 35 years.  Upon his retirement in 2001 he was appointed Pastor Emeritus by the Voters Assembly.  Rev. Gary R. Schmidtke served as Pastor of Grace from 2001 until his retirement in June 2008.  Rev. William J. Orr, who came to Grace in January 2009 and faithfully served until November 2016, when he accepted a call from Salem Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, IL.

From “the little white church on the hill” to the present day structure, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church has served the community well; and with the Grace of God we will continue its mission for many years to come.