Wesleyan Community Church in Oak Lawn recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. | Supplied photo
Updated: June 17, 2014 2:27PM
Wesleyan Community Church in Oak Lawn recently marked its 70th anniversary with an Easter celebration, according to a press release from the church.
In February 1944, the Grandview Park community and Oak Lawn area were canvassed to determine whether there was interest in building a church in the community, according to the release. The conversations resulted in a public meeting at the nearby volunteer fire department, where a vote was taken and $3,000 was donated to buy property and begin a church, the release said.
A small house was renovated, and the first public service of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Grandview Park was held. Since then, the church has had name changes, five pastors, two moves to nearby properties and five building programs, according to the church.
This Easter marked a milestone for the local congregation, which has had continuous ministry in the community since that first Easter, the release said.
When it began, all of its members were from Oak Lawn, but they now live in nearly 50 suburbs and communities in the metropolitan area — stretching from Munster, Indiana, to Mundelein, the release said.
Their reach to minister has extended to 30 states and nearly 50 countries around the world, it said.
The current senior pastor, the Rev. Steven Wright, and his wife Pat have served for 38 years, Wright said in an email. He also serves as the chaplain for the Chicago Fire soccer team.
Pastors Buchanan, Olander, Zuhl and Crawford were former pastors, according to the press release.
The church’s ongoing services include upcoming summer children’s camps, worship arts/music, bible study groups and children’s ministry, according to the release.
Wesleyan Community Church is at 8844 S. Austin Ave.