Christ Church was founded in 1965 by the Rev. Arthur and Gladys DeKruyter and a small circle of others, committed to establishing “a church for the community” in the new Village of Oak Brook. The congregation began in the DeKruyter’s basement, started holding services on Easter Sunday 1965, and made its home for several years in the gymnasium of the Butler School.
In January 1968, with a membership of just 82 family units, the congregation pledged $217,000 – some of them taking out second mortgages -- for the purpose of constructing a million dollar church building. With only 450 in average attendance, the founders built a sanctuary that could hold 1200 people in the belief that God planned to do something amazing with this church.
They were correct. From the opening of the Sanctuary on Palm Sunday 1970, the church grew dramatically. The church’s early development rested on “Six Pillars of Ministry” – strong preaching and teaching, first-rate worship music, effective children and youth ministries, state-of-the-art communications, competent caregiving, and outreaching mission to a needy world.
In January 1997, Dr. DeKruyter retired and was succeeded by Daniel Meyer. After the predictable pangs of transition, the church moved into a very fruitful “second season.” A wide range of strategic initiatives were implemented that enabled the church to renew its intergenerational character and expand its outreach to the world. The original Six Pillars are now embodied in the congregation’s commitment to “Worship, Grow, and Serve” and in the myriad of ministries that express those passions and touch the lives of thousands.
As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary Year, we invite you to come help shape the next exciting era of Christ Church.