St. Paul’s United Church of Christ building on new site
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News June 20, 2012 3:06PM
The Rev. Jorge Morales, conference minister of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, and the Rev. Paige Wolfanger, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ acting pastor, offer a blessing during the groundbreaking ceremony. | Denise Moran phot
Updated: July 23, 2012 6:38AM
ELGIN — Good things come to those who wait.
The members of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Elgin have been talking for 20 years about relocating to a site farther west, according to Myron Meglin, church council president.
Last Saturday morning, they broke ground for a new, 6,000-square-foot church at the corner of Switzer and Plank roads in Elgin.
“Our congregation moved west, so we felt it was time for us to move west,” said Meglin. “Our hope is to be able to worship in the new sanctuary by Christmas 2012.”
Elgin resident Evelyn Stark, 98, is the oldest member of the congregation. She attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday.
“I didn’t think I’d ever see the groundbreaking,” Stark said. “I look forward to attending the first service in the new church.”
According to Meglin, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ was founded in 1875 at the corner of Center and Division streets in Elgin. In 1905, a new church was erected at the same site to replace the original building.
Vineyard Christian Fellowship bought the property in April 2009. Without a place to call home, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ arranged for a temporary worship center at the corner of Galvin and Pinnacle drives in Elgin’s Northwest Corporate Park.
“The future church (at Plank and Switzer roads) will be a simple country church with classrooms, fellowship area, and warming kitchen,” Meglin said. “The sanctuary will seat 150 to 200 people. The large house now on the premises will be used for meetings and other activities.”
“We are blessed to have this opportunity to find a permanent home for this congregation and their ministry,” said the Rev. Jorge Morales, conference minister of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ. “We can provide a church home to all those who are seeking a church home.”
“We pray for all who will be involved in this work,” said the Rev. Paige Wolfanger, acting pastor of the church. “We pray for safety for all and a sense of purpose. We thank God for bringing us to this land.”
Church official Chuck Smith said: “God did not leave us homeless. Through prayers and God’s timing, we found the right piece of land at the right time. We thank our pastor for leading us in the right direction.”
Smith said that church members attended meetings with officials from the city of Elgin and Kane County in order to discuss zoning changes, easements and stormwater management.
The architect for the project is Todd Carlson, founder and principal architect for Carlson Architecture Ltd., Palatine. Shales McNutt Construction, Elgin, will build the new church.
Church member Mary Reel, who has five children, nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, enjoyed the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday. Even though the wait for a new church lasted two decades, “I knew that they would make it,” she said.
“It’s been a wonderfully long journey,” said Wolfanger. “We are blessed beyond measure. What we build here will be stable and on a firm foundation. It will be built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.”