For over 130 years our church has conducted a ministry in the Joliet area. The congregation was first organized on August 10, 1873 as the Swedish Mission Church. In 1881 a church building was erected on Clay Street and for many years served as the center of the ministry.
On December 10, 1939 the American Sunday School Union began a ministry among the children in the Richland area which eventually became known as the Six Corners Chapel. This ministry was turned over to the Evangelical Covenant Church in 1957 and became a ministry of outreach for the denomination and the church on Clay Street, now named First Covenant Church of Joliet. The new ministry in the Richland area took the name of Calvary Covenant Church and in 1962 erected the present church structure located at 2437 Plainfield Road, Joliet, Illinois.
On May 17, 1970 Calvary Covenant Church and First Covenant Church merged to become Church of the Good Shepherd Evangelical Covenant Church.
Rev. Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, Interim Pastor
Dr. Boaz grew up in slums of New Delhi, India where his lived experience was one of poverty and injustice. However, Boaz also had the opportunity to attend a high-caste Hindu educational institution. These stark realities expanded his search for spiritual meaning. This wrestling lead him to the person and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Boaz is the Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently on a year-long Sabbatical to write books and to engage in pastoral ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Dr. Boaz received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Delhi in 1978. He received his Masters of Divinity from Union Biblical Seminary in 1984. He continued his studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned his Master of Theology degree in Hebrew and Semitic Languages in 1988. He received his Ph.D. in Hebrew/Biblical Studies in 1997 from Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Boaz was ordained into the Evangelical Covenant church in June 2008. Dr. Boaz is married to his wife Sarita and they have four grown children.
Miki Kobayashi, Accompanist
Pastor Richard Johnson, Pastor of Evangelism
Richard Johnson grew up on a farm in Boone County, Iowa. He left the farm in 1957 to attend North Park College where he received his B.S. degree with a comprehensive science major in preparation for teaching. He taught High School for thirteen years in Huntley, IL. and Ogden, IA. During that time he received a M.S. degree in Science Education from the University of Wyoming. He met Marlys Peterson while they were at North Park and they were married in 1961. In 1976 they were commissioned by the Evangelical Covenant Church to be missionaries to Colombia, South America. He received his Master of Divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary in 1987 and was ordained that same year. After serving abroad for twenty six years, they retired and returned to Illinois. In 2006 Richard was called to be the Pastor of Evangelism at the Church of the Good Shepherd where he continues to serve. He and Marlys have six children, eleven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Marge Steffens, Office Secretary
Pastor Jake Bradley, Youth and Family Pastor
Pastor Jake grew up in the cornfields of Iowa. After graduation from high school he attended Iowa State University and received a degree in Zoology and Secondary Education in 1999. After serving as the youth Intern at Cornerstone Church of Ames, IA for three years, he took a position at Church of the Good Shepherd as their Youth Pastor and has been serving there since 2002. During that time he began classes at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2012 and was ordained into the Evangelical Covenant Church in June 2013. Pastor Jake is married to his wife Renae and they have three children.
To be an open community and caring family that moves outside the church building and actively ministers to all people, bringing the good news of God’s grace and love.