Leadership team members embody the mission of St. John’s United and aspire to ensure that healing, meaning, and purpose are advanced every day for every age throughout the organization.
St. John’s United is proud of the strong partnerships we hold with a number of local, regional and national businesses and organizations, as well as our ownership congregations in Montana.
St. John’s United is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization owned by 25 Lutheran congregations located in Montana. These congregations include:
- American Lutheran Church – Billings
- American Lutheran Church – Harlowton
- American Lutheran Church – Lavina
- Atonement Lutheran Church – Billings
- Bethlehem Lutheran Church – Billings
- Big Timber Lutheran Church – Big Timber
- Emmanuel Lutheran Church – Shepherd
- First American Lutheran Church – Hardin
- First English Lutheran Church – Billings
- First Lutheran Church – Miles City
- Grace Lutheran Church – Barber
- Immanuel Lutheran Church – Absarokee
- Joliet Lutheran Church – Joliet
- King of Glory Lutheran Church – Billings
- Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd – Billings
- Melville Lutheran Church – Melville
- Messiah Lutheran Church – Billings
- Messiah Lutheran Church – Red Lodge
- Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church – Helena
- Our Savior’s Lutheran Church – Laurel
- Peace Lutheran Church – Billings
- St. James Lutheran Church – Columbus
- Trinity Lutheran Church – Lennep
- Zion Lutheran Church – Lewistown
- Zion Lutheran Church – Roundup
Affiliations, Partnerships and Relationships
St. John’s United has noteworthy affiliations, partnerships and relationships with many organizations and businesses. These organizations and businesses include:
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Montana Synod
- Lutheran Services in America
- Lutheran Services in America Connect and Lutheran Connections, Incorporated
- Montana Health Network
- Montana Hospital Association
- Associated Employers of Montana
- Forefront United
- Sapphire Lutheran Homes
- Billings Clinic
- SCL Health – St. Vincent Healthcare
- Riverstone Health
- Big Sky Senior Services
- Billings Chamber of Commerce
- Big Sky Economic Development
- Kinetic Marketing and Creative
- Mountain Plains Equity Group
- First Interstate Bank
- Rocky Mountain Bank
- Western Security Bank
- Bannack Group
- Luther’s Lodge
St. John’s United is a community of diverse people sharing God’s healing presence. Our mission is to provide living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love.
St. John’s United is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1963 and owned by 25 Montana congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The good work of St. John’s United spans the entire state of Montana, offering a wide array of services to older adults, families, and children—with no regard to religious preference, race, gender, age, diagnosis or disability.
With humble beginnings as Montana’s first HUD-financed senior retirement community, St. John’s has grown to become one of the largest providers for eldercare in Montana, consisting of income-based and private pay independent retirement apartments, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care communities, a unique At Home program, post-hospital transitional care, as well as rehabilitation, home health and hospice services. As those within the baby-boomer generation continue to advance into their retirement years, the demand for our resident-centered care continues to grow.
St. John’s United is a place where every day for every age there is healing, meaning, and purpose.
St. John’s United is committed to:
- Being a mission directed organization, whose source is God’s Word of love and hope for all humanity through the gift of Jesus Christ.
- Providing a continuum of caring in the midst of life transitions.
- Providing appropriate care, service, employment and volunteer opportunities with respect and love for all people.
- Being a leader in innovation and sharing our knowledge and gifts.
- Taking risks on behalf of people in need.
- Practicing stewardship through wise management of our gifts and resources.
- Fostering faithful, effective collaborations and partnerships within and beyond the Lutheran Church.
- Being a place where all people are engaged and celebrated as both givers and receivers of love.
The earliest notion of St. John’s began when a humble group of thirty-one Lutheran church leaders met together on November 18, 1958 at the Billings Starlight Terrace Restaurant. Their purpose was to consider development of a home for older adults, rooted within the Christian religious tradition and would provide compassionate care and services of highest quality.
Following a year of conversations and consultations, seventeen Lutheran congregations collaborated to found Lutheran Retirement Home Incorporated on February 10, 1960. Soon after, St. John’s Lutheran Home was adopted as the name of reference.
September 23, 1962, Montana Governor Tim Babcock was present for the blessing and groundbreaking of purchased property located at the corner of Rimrock and Shiloh Roads in Billings. The original building included 129 apartment units. As the nature of resident needs evolved, St. John’s responded by expanding living spaces and providing skilled nursing services.
In 1995, St. John’s and St. Vincent Healthcare partnered to form a joint venture corporation named Missions United. In joining assets of board leadership, land, and money, Mission Ridge was constructed and opened to welcome residents, creating Montana’s first full service continuing care retirement community.
In 1997, due to the increasing array of services being provided, St. John’s Lutheran Home was renamed: St. John’s Lutheran Ministries.
Three years later, an appeal from Lutheran colleagues in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley was made that St. John’s provide management services to Sapphire Lutheran Homes in Hamilton. Soon after, St. John’s became the second location in the United States to develop Green Houses, which offered innovative skilled nursing care within cottages, housing 12 residents in a homelike environment.
As the first decade of the twenty-first century advanced, invitations surfaced from surrounding communities for St. John’s to develop additional retirement settings, which led to openings of The Crossings in Laurel and The Willows in Red Lodge.
In 2017, Missions United constructed and opened WyndStone Retirement and Assisted Living in Billings Heights, which like Mission Ridge, is managed by St. John’s United.
In 2019, leadership renamed the organization St. John’s United to be more inclusive of the full range of services provided and to provide the public with more clarity.
Also in 2019, the innovative At Home service line was launched, providing people the opportunity to remain living in the place they call home while belonging to the larger St. John’s United community. Two years later, St. John’s United At Home was launched in Missoula.
In 2020, a portion of the original building was replaced with larger and more welcoming residential apartments. Leadership intends to replace the original St. John’s building with newer spaces that will increase and improve services.
Since its founding, St. John’s has consistently provided for the healthcare needs of its residents while nurturing wellness.
In 2005, St. John’s began to offer healthcare services in the form of transitional care to those discharged from hospital contexts but not yet ready to return home. A cottage was constructed in Billings to provide inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy.
In 2013, St. John’s partnered with Billings Clinic and Big Sky Senior Service to launch a home-based services initiative named St. John’s United Home Health and Hospice. Through this Medicare-approved venture, skilled nursing, therapy and hospice services are offered to people within their homes.
In 2021, the St. John’s United Diagnostic Laboratory was established to provide rapid, reliable in-house virus testing for St. John’s United communities, neighboring healthcare and eldercare institutions, educational institutions, organizations, businesses and community members.
Since its founding, St. John’s United has held spiritual care at the center of its mission. A qualified spiritual care team is ever available for all St. John’s communities to accompany people through life transitions, healthcare decisions, bereavement or to converse about specific religious matters. These spiritual caregivers also provide leadership for weekly worship experiences, funerals, weddings and other liturgical needs.
In 1996, St. John’s opened a licensed childcare center as a benefit to employees and to the community. Since then, Center for Generations has advanced to become the largest privately owned childcare context within Yellowstone County, serving children spanning the ages of six weeks to twelve years.
At request of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. John’s assumed management of Lutheran Social Services of Montana, which provides licensed adoption placement services, pregnancy support, foster care child services, and mental health counseling services. Since then, and now under St. John’s United ownership, Family Services has continued to extend its outreach and care to employees and community members.
The St. John’s Foundation was created in 1989 to inspire philanthropic development that would financially sustain St. John’s and the people we serve. The Foundation annually conducts a funding campaign known as Seeds of Kindness to support the needs of residents, employees, Family Services and Center for Generations. The Foundation also invites people to consider planned gifts that are invested into permanently endowed funds. The Legacy Circle was established to honor those who have included the St. John’s Foundation in their estate planning or through large asset gifts to the Foundation’s Endowment.
In recent years, the Foundation expanded its philanthropic intent by bolstering volunteer services that connect people with meaningful experiences of serving throughout St. John’s communities. The Foundation also generates community events such as the Summer Concert Series and Art for the Ages that bring people together to experience the joy of music and the beauty of art.
Driven by a love in Christ for those who most need to be lifted high, those first faithful founders who gathered in 1958 were never about buildings and places, it was always about people. Commitment, compassion, and innovation have inspired St. John’s United in its abiding mission to provide living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love.
Family Unites Us All
We Help and Heal
Across the communities of St. John’s United, there is a focus on meeting family needs. From child daycare to pregnancy support and counseling to adoption services, we touch all generations. We want the future to be bright for every age, from childhood through older adulthood, and that is why we provide services to help all who come to us for assistance. At St. John’s, we offer help to families in so many ways.
What is Health?
It’s Personal to Everyone
We have rehabilitated thousands of joints and limbs and helped people recover strength and mobility. We serve and support people through rehabilitation and health services offered at either of our St John’s United locations or in your own home.
Offering a Continuum of Quality Care
St. John’s is committed to meeting the health-care needs of people and accompanying them toward wellness. We work to create nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love for all who seek care from our compassionate team.
Home Is Where You Are
We’ll Meet You There
St. John’s United has expertise in aging and older adulthood. Over 700 employed staff and an array of volunteers provide people with varying levels of support raging from fully independent to fully dependent. Where you choose to live, we help you live your life with confidence.
Offering Quality Living Options
St. John’s has a rich history of providing a variety of high-quality living experiences that meet the needs of its residents, from independent-living and assisted-living communities to skilled nursing and memory care. As residents’ needs change, we help them make seamless transitions to the living option that is best for them.
Caring for others is what we do. Our hope is that volunteering at St. John’s United is an enriching and rewarding experience. The vision of St. John’s United is “every day for every age there is healing, meaning and purpose.” Volunteers are a vital part of bringing this vision into focus.
From baristas to musicians, vigil coordinator to devotions leader, volunteers enrich the lives of our community in many ways. Perhaps you would like to volunteer?
There are many ways you can contribute and participate within our St. John’s United community. Whether you would like to volunteer regularly, with a group, or one time, there is something for everyone*.
*Certain volunteer positions require a regular commitment, background check, and health screenings.
Benefits of Volunteering
- Form new relationships and interpersonal skills
- Share your talent and creative passion
- Grow personally and professionally
- Make a difference, witness, and experience meaningful moments with those in the St. John’s United community.
- Be part of the mission to create living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love
The meaning of life is to find your gift.William Shakespeare
The purpose of life is to give it away.
Apply to Volunteer!
Regrettably, we are not yet accepting new volunteers due to COVID precautions. For other ways to help make a difference, please see our Featured Opportunities below.
Click the links below to apply and learn more about our volunteer opportunities
Already a Volunteer? LOG IN HERE
How to Volunteer
Frequently Asked Questions
There are an abundance of resources online related to aging. Here are some that we have found helpful. Just click the link to visit the organization’s website.
The mission of Leading Age is to expand the world of possibilities for aging. It is focused on education, advocacy, and applied research.
Official U.S. Government Medicare site.
Official U.S. Government Medicaid site.
Official site of the state of Montana that details payment options for seniors, including Medicaid Waiver.
Veterans’ Pension Information
Official site of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. This site provides information about a benefit that is available for Veteran’s and spouse’s of Veteran’s.
Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County
A resource in Yellowstone County to help people 60 and up stay active, live independently and enjoy life to it’s fullest.
Where You Live Matters
A resource for seniors searching for answers or family members. They offer information on different options in retirement living as well other helpful tips.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Over the last decade St. John’s United has based its wellness philosophy around the development of its communities, the residents, and its devoted staff. With a Christian focus of caring for one’s neighbors, we work together to provide a continuum of care along every step of the aging process. With living options throughout the region, we will help you find a caring community so you can continue to live your life to its fullest. All of our communities share in the effort, which is to create environments where you can set your worries aside while you thrive in the autonomy of your later years. Enjoy your family and take part in a plethora of physical, social, and spiritual wellness activities offered daily at any community you choose. At St. John’s United we are continually adapting and improving to ensure our communities are worthy of those who live there.
Visit one of our six campuses to find out more:
- Billings Mission Ridge is Montana’s first not-for-profit Life Plan Community providing residential comprehensive care ranging from retirement living to assisted living or skilled nursing, all in one location. Mission Ridge is an independent living community for those still enjoying an active lifestyle while planning for an effortless transition into supportive services.
- Billings West End Campus – Cottages, Chapel Court, Billings Legacy Building reflects all levels of the St. John’s United continuum of care with assisted living, memory, and transitional care. The Cottages support those in need of long term care and those diagnosed with the first stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Chapel Court offers affordable retirement living with optional assisted living services for our most independent residents. The Billings Legacy Building provides comprehensive rehabilitative services that are accessible to all individuals, inside and outside the St. John’s United network.
- Billings Heights – WyndStone, Meadowlark Landing, Novak Cottage offers options for independent living with supportive services at Meadowlark Landing and Memory Care at Novak Cottage. Residents receive priority access to St. John’s United continuum of care which includes the Transitional Care Cottage that utilizes skilled nursing and rehab services. Located in Billings Heights, the WyndStone campus has some of the most spectacular views of the region.
- Laurel – Richardson Cottage, Patio Homes, The Crossings, Brown’s Landing offers varied community options that honor the St. John’s continuum of care. The dedicated memory care team at Richardson Cottage provides individualized care for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Neighborly community living options at The Crossings and affiliated Patio Homes offer a self-designed lifestyle for active retirees. Brown’s Landing serves as an independent living residence featuring comprehensive support services and assisted living.
- Hamilton – The Sapphire Lutheran Homes campus in Hamilton, MT features all levels of supportive living along the St. John’s continuum of care. The Remington and Sapphire Lutheran Home offer both independent and assisted living options with careful attention to individual resident wellness. The Canyon View residence was granted a Rural Development award and offers subsidized rent for residents alongside the abundance of amenities offered by all St. John’s United facilities. Dedicated staff at The Manor serves Section 8/Housing and Urban Development residents in a nurturing and inclusive environment. Memory Lane at Sapphire has increased supportive services for residents with carefully implemented notes of familiarity in the living quarters and prepared meals.
- Red Lodge – The Willows offers supportive living options consistent with the St. John’s Service Partnership Structure from the tranquility of its Red Lodge campus. Daily living in our private apartment homes becomes hassle-free as residents enjoy nutritious prepared meals, weekly housekeeping, and engaging wellness activities alongside dedicated staff and a welcoming community of fellow residents.