John Mauck has been an attorney for over 40 years, representing many churches and ministries in Chicago to provide religious land use in restricted areas of the city. His work drafting the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act which became federal law in 2000 has helped congregations across the country freely worship.
“For me, being a lawyer is about serving God," said John. “When you do something for a long time it becomes part of who you are—part of your identity.”
John’s journey with God started at the age of six when his mother sent him to vacation Bible school at a local church. He accepted Jesus at that time, but became more focused on his career during his studies at Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1969. While he was earning a Juris Doctor at the University of Chicago Law School, he realized that he had not been able to find meaning in success apart from God, so he began studying the Bible to see if Jesus was really the promised Messiah. One day while watching a Christian TV program, he was able to make a decision. “I almost blurted out, ‘Jesus, it is so good to see you, I have missed you.’ And He was right there with me.”
When John began his legal career litigation was not part of his practice. However, in 1985 a church elder, whom John had never met, came to his office and insisted that God had told him to hire John to represent their church in zoning litigation. At first John was hesitant, but God confirmed what the elder said and John’s practice now includes civil rights litigation and religious liberties. “I like helping to advance the law so that people have more freedom to worship,” he says. In addition to religious zoning work, John also practices real estate law and litigation, not-for-profit law and constitutional law.
Because of John’s Biblical orientation, the most satisfying moments in his career have occurred when his work resulted in churches being given the right to build, thus allowing the Gospel to be preached and lived.
In 1998, John was asked to testify before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution concerning church zoning problems. He was also instrumental in originating parts of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 which has become essential in securing religious liberties for Americans of all faiths. He has written numerous articles on religious land use and given presentations on the subject to city officials and other lawyers. In 2001, he wrote Paul on Trial: The Book of Acts as a Defense of Christianity. In this work, John explains that the book of Acts was written as a legal brief to defend the Apostle Paul on trial before the Roman Emperor Nero.
Listen to the radio interview with John Mauck by Family Life and check out John's book The Healing of Jabez and promotional video.
John enjoys studying the Bible in his free time as well as hosting and teaching a weekly Bible study geared primarily for legal professionals. Discipleship is as an integral part of John’s life.
John has been married to his wife Rosemary for more than forty years. They have four adult children, Andrew, Allyson, Elizabeth and John and two grandchildren. John and his wife live in Evanston, Illinois and attend First Presbyterian Church where John has been an adult teacher for many years.