Organized religion played a major role in the settling of Illinois and continues to impact our region in many ways. We enjoy highlighting places of worship and their work both at home and abroad.
A Growing Footprint: Christ Community Church • Est. 1984
Main Campus: 37W100 Bolcum Road, St. Charles. Satellite Campuses: 2300 W. Streamwood Blvd., Streamwood; 40W098 Galena Blvd., Aurora; 2350 Pride Ave., DeKalb; (630) 485-3300, ccclife.org
In 1984, a group of St. Charles residents began meeting for Bible studies. In time, they started kicking around the idea of creating their very own church home, something that would appeal to their friends and family who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Their idea became a reality on Dec. 16, 1984, when they started holding church services in a rented St. Charles movie theater. In the early 1990s they established a standalone church along Bolcum Road.
Today, the growing church has more than 5,000 members attending worship services on four campuses.
These dedicated worshippers are active members of their communities. Church members serve as school tutors helping kids in math, science and reading. They also volunteer at Food For Greater Elgin, sorting and repackaging products at the second-largest food pantry in Kane County.
Through a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, a humanitarian aid organization, the church planned to send a Hurricane Florence response team to North Carolina in November.
Services are held in St. Charles Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Services in DeKalb happen Saturdays at 5:10 p.m. and Sundays at 9:10 and 11:10 a.m. The Aurora campus meets on Sundays at 9:10 a.m. and the Streamwood campus has one service on Sundays at 10 a.m.
A Thriving Parish: St. Mary Catholic Church, Est. 1850
329 Pine St., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 758-5432, stmarydekalb.org
Made of blue Bedford stone and adorned with 24 beautiful stained glass windows, this Gothic revival building is a notable architectural landmark in DeKalb County. Its thriving parish was founded by a handful of Catholics who lived in the DeKalb area in 1850. Those 30 families took turns holding Mass in each other’s homes, led on a rotating schedule by priests from Chicago or nearby St. Charles.
By 1899, the cornerstone was laid for the existing church building in order to accommodate the growing parish. An arson fire in 1973 completely destroyed the church’s sanctuary, but nearly all the original stained glass windows, brought over from Germany, survived. Mass was held in the school gym for a year while repairs and renovations took place.
Father Dean Russell leads today’s church membership of more than 1,360 families.
The church supports St. Mary’s School, where 160 elementary and high school students are enrolled. It’s also involved with many community service groups and supports both Vietnamese and Hispanic ministries.
Mass is Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sun. 8:30 and 10:30 a.m., with Spanish Mass at 4 p.m. and Vietnamese mass on second Sundays at 1:30 p.m.