Our mission is to spread God's love in service to others!
Few churches get their start in a rail car, but that is exactly where our congregation began. In 1884, Edwin Orlando Nichols, a man of earnest faith decided churches in Itasca needed a Sunday School. Knowing the Itasca Accommodation train stood unused every weekend, Mr. Nichols organized a Sunday school in the train car. In 1885, 26 Christian workers petitioned the Chicago Presbytery to turn the railcar Sunday school into a church. On October 25, 1885, Reverend E.R. Davis preached the initial sermon just south of the church's present location at 207 East Center Street. By the time the first resident pastor was installed in February 1921, the church membership was up to 60.
In 1950 the congregation had grown to 265 and ground was broken for the current structure. In May 1952 the new house of worship was dedicated. Ten years later, the education wing was dedicated. The vision of Mr. Nichols 75 years earlier, had come a long way from those initial meetings in a rail car.
Today, some members still remember the building of the church in the 1950's; others in our congregation were not even a twinkle in their parent's eyes so long ago. We are diverse in many ways, including in our thoughts and opinions. We are still a small congregation and our church continues in its history of ministry to its members, its community and the world.
The Rev. Dr. Steve Pierce is our interim pastor. He was the head of staff at the Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights, IL before his 'retirement.' His ministry passion is church vitality. Since retirement he has served several churches in the Chicago Presbytery. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary; has been happily married to Susie for 50 years. They have two married sons and three wonderful grandchildren. Steve is an avid pickleball player, reader, and traveler. His favorite refrains are: "God has a plan" and "God is good!"
Jerilyn Willin has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 2004. She first served as an Elder from 2006-2012 and then re-upped in 2014. Along with being a member of the Session, she was a founding member of the church's Resurrection Resale Shop.
Jerilyn works as a leadership development consultant and career coach. She also teaches at DePaul University. Jerilyn holds master's degrees in Counseling Psychology (George William's College) and Industrial Relations (Loyola University/Chicago).
Office Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9AM - 3 PM
630.773.9606 X 1
Monique has been the Church Administrator since 2021. Monique is semi-retired and for 13 years, prior to coming to First Presbyterian, was an office supervisor for a major manufacturing company in Franklin Park Illinois. Monique has extensive experience in all types of office functions, including administration, and accounting. She is an expert in many Microsoft Office products.
Monique has a BA from Northeaster Illinois University.
Ken Naatz has been a member of First Presbyterian Church for 35 years and the Financial Secretary for 16 years. He has previously served as a Deacon and Elder.
Ken works for Watson & Associates; a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Previously, Ken spent 32 years at McDonald's Corporation mainly in the employee benefits area, where he met his wife Kathy. Ken has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and an MBA from DePaul University.
Our Wedding Coordinators are Laurie Seames and Jerilyn Willin.
Ted Gault has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church since 1979 and Financial Treasurer since 2017. He has previously served as a Trustee and as Elder.
Ted is retired but was formerly employed as the Chief Financial Officer of a number of manufacturing companies in the Chicago metropolitan area. Ted is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Masters of Accounting Science fom the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.
Our name, "Presbyterian," is rooted in the Greek word presbuteros, which means "elder." This etymology defines our system of church government, structured around a group of elders elected by the congregation - the same system of government upon which our country's democratic philosophies were founded.
As Protestent Christians, we accept the authority of the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, and profess our faith in God, who is known to us as the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our faith has been especially influenced by the Protestant Reformation, specifically by leaders such as John Calvin and John Knox. We strongly believe in the key elements of the Protestant Reformation: salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, the authority of the Bible for faith and life, and our individual duty to be a minister of Christ at all times and in all places. It is up to each individual to determine how to apply these principles in his or her own life.
Above all else, it is our mission to share the love of God through Jesus Christ through word and deed. Presbyterians spread the love of God throughout the world by emphasizing the need for worship, developing new churches, and by fostering mission activities. We respond to disaster situations, minister to the sick and the needy, and educate new generations of Christian men and women to continue our legacy of service to God and the community.
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation Our heritage and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystalized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.