St. John’s United has served the Montana community for over half a century. Throughout those years St. John’s has abided in the missional intent of its founders while adapting to the ever-changing needs of individual and community needs. Our founders felt called to care for one’s neighbors, especially those neighbors who most needed a place to call home and where their needs in later years would be met in love and dignity.
We have continued the intentions and stewardship of our founders today as one of the largest senior-care providers in Montana. As our community’s needs have changed, we have integrated inclusive healthcare and therapy practices, as well as comprehensive family services to provide the very best continuum of care for every stage of life.
The concept of St. John’s began when a humble group of thirty-one Lutheran clergy and leaders met together November 18, 1958 at the Starlight Terrace Restaurant in Billings. Their purpose was to consider how to develop a home for older adults that was rooted within the Christian religious faith and compassionate practices. Question and debate surfaced about the nature of what to construct and how to resource the construction. The group was guided in their considerations by Pastor John Mason, who then served on staff of the Churchwide body known as the American Lutheran Church.
Seventeen founding Lutheran congregations provided source for electing thirteen founding Board of Director members in 1960. Founding Board members planned the scope of the project, acquired land, selected an architect, developed a budget, hired builders, raised money, and secured financing. Primary source for financing was a 50 year Housing and Urban Development loan which was the first of its kind for a retirement home project in Montana.
The original name for this ministry venture was Lutheran Retirement Home Incorporated, but the founding Board soon chose to do business under the name, St. John’s Lutheran Home. On November 19, 1963 St. John’s opened its doors to welcome residents who soon filled all 129 retirement home apartments and common living areas.
In 1997, following expansion of campus buildings and human service offerings, St. John’s changed its name to St. John’s Lutheran Ministries. In 2019, following further expansion of human services, St. John’s rebranded its name for doing business as St. John’s United.
St. John’s identifies itself as a social ministry organization affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It is currently and owned by twenty-five Lutheran congregations. It values collaborative partnerships and benefits from the philanthropic generosity of donors and volunteers.