The History Of Elk Grove Presbyterian Church
In The Beginning…
In early 1963 Presbyterian families living in Elk Grove Village were contacted by the Chicago Presbytery regarding the formation of a Presbyterian Church.
The first meeting was held at the Ridge Elementary school in the early spring of 1963.
At this meeting, and the subsequent ones to follow, we were given to self-expression of each family represented. These meetings were most refreshing.
Some of our early organizational meetings were held in the Community Center which was a rehabilitated building commonly referred to as “The Barn”, and was located approximately 200 yards north of our present site. Little did we know at that time that our church would be so close to this initial meeting place.
We held our first morning church service on Palm Sunday, 1963, at Grove Junior High School. Prior to that, several evening services were held at Grove Junior High School.
The Rev. Robert Long, who was serving as an assistant minister at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana was installed as the first official minister of the Elk Grove United Presbyterian Church in June 1963.
We were officially organized as a church on Sunday, December 8, 1963 with 65 members.
The church continued to grow under Rev. Long’s leadership. He resigned in September, 1968 to accept a position at the McCormick Seminary.
Rev. Gerald Krohn, a retired minister, agreed to serve as an interim minister.
The Pulpit Committee recommended Rev. Henry Warkentin of Rock Island to fill the vacancy. Rev. Warkentin accepted the congregation’s call on April 27, 1969, and then became the second minister of the Elk Grove United Presbyterian Church.
After several years of diligent study and work, the congregation employed the firm of Sunshine, Jaeger & Kupritz to design and eventually construct our edifice. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Sunday, November 22, 1970. The laying of the cornerstone took place on Sunday, October 17, 1971.
The first service in our new building was held on Sunday, November 28, 1971. We continue to worship in this building at the corner of Tonne & Elk Grove Boulevard today.
The Stained Glass Cross
Del and Nancy Clark and family were beloved members of our congregation for many years. On March 3, 1989, Del passed away suddenly. Del’s daughter, Jeanne, had a dream that her family use the memorial money to provide a stained glass cross.
Mead Killion and Jeanne looked at various examples and decided on a cross that had been designed by a Japanese artist, Takashi Iwasaki. Mead contact Mr. Iwasaki who granted his permission to use his design. Mead contracted a local artist, Jack Zawadski, to make it for us, and Bert Clarbour contracted Arlington Steel to design and make the frame.
The cross was dedicated on March 4, 1990. It has been a focal point in our sanctuary ever since and continues to be an inspiration to everyone who sees it.
In 1985, the idea of making large 9′ x 4′ banners for our sanctuary was pursued by a few members. With the help of the creativity, artistry and dedication of our women, we design, cut and sewer the “Mark” banner, also known as the “Believe the Unbelievable” banner. Soon after we made the “Easter” banner.
To day, many women have given their time and talent in producing 14 additional banners including:
- Apostle’s Creed Banner
- Communion Banner
- Each Time We Sing We Pray Twice Banner
- Jesus and the Children Banner
- Marriage Banner
- Nicene Creed Banner
- Palm and Cross Banner
- Pentecost Banner
- Presbyterian Church (USA) Seal Banner
- Rejoice – Christmas Banner
- Second Helvetic Confession Banner
- Scots Confession Banner
- 25th Anniversary Banner
- 50th Anniversary Banner
Our unusual “church windows” are images of god’s kingdom displayed through large colorful banners. They remind us of various events, celebrations, and theological ideas.
September 24, 1968 – June 28, 1969 – Rev. Gerald Krohn, Pulpit Supply
June 29, 1969 – August 3, 1982 – Rev. Henry Warkentin
February 13, 1983 – October 16, 1983 – Rev. Dr. Don Chatfield, Interim Pastor
December 4, 1983 – May 22, 1988 – Rev. Lance G. Clenard, Pastor
September 1988 – September 1991 – Rev. Dr. Don Chatfield, Interim Pastor
November 24, 1991 – August 31, 2002 – Rev. Angela Schenck, Pastor
October 28, 2002 – October 28, 2018 – Rev. Lynne E. Savidis – Stated Supply
January 7, 2019 – present – Rev. Dr. Barbara Gorsky, Pastor