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.
St. Gall Catholic Church • Est. 1870
43W885 Hughes Road, Elburn, (630) 365-6030, stgall.com
Catholics in the early 1800s attended Mass in the homes of parishioners whenever a circuit priest visited the area.
In 1870, a church home was built on the southeast side of Elburn. Services were held in the stone structure until 1925, when a new church was built at the corner of Illinois Route 47 and Shannon Street. The church underwent various renovations over the next several decades.
In 2017, the congregation moved to a new, larger location on 30 acres at the corner of Illinois Route 47 and Hughes Road.
The church currently has 690 families with more than 400 children in the education program.
Those families support their community in many ways. The benevolent congregation participates in Community Service Days, where they serve needy people in the area. Among other missions, they’ve supported drives for the Northern Illinois Food Bank and made meals for the homeless at Lazarus House, in St. Charles.
Church members have also made friends with the residents at GreenFields of Geneva, a senior community located just east of Elburn. Every so often, residents get together with congregation members and play games like Bingo.
Mass is held Mon. at 7:30 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. at 7 a.m., Fri. at 12:10 p.m., Sat. at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Sun. at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church of Woodstock • Est. 1846
2018 Illinois Route 47, Woodstock, (815) 338-2627, fpcwoodstock.org
This historic church began when 21 people organized a congregation in Woodstock. The first services were held in the town’s old wooden courthouse until 1848, when a new church was built on the corner of Jefferson and Church streets, just northeast of the Woodstock Square.
The congregation outgrew the building , so in 1856 they replaced it with a larger brick structure on the same site.
By 1882, the church was on the move again. Noise coming from the nearby Chicago and Northwestern trains drove the congregation to build a new structure at the corner of Tryon and Calhoun streets, just southwest of the Square.
The congregation called that location home for more than 100 years. Its membership continued to grow and eventually outgrew that space, too. The church moved to its current location, about 3 miles north of the Square, in 2007.
The church has left a deep impact on the community over the decades. Its members have helped distribute food with Meals on Wheels and cared for the homeless by providing food to the Public Action to Deliver Shelter.
Members have supported the Woodstock Food Pantry and its food collection program, in which members fill a red wagon with non-perishable food items.
The congregation has also adopted the busy roadway outside its building, so members routinely pick up trash along Ill. Rt. 47.
The Rev. Cindy Carlisle leads worship service Sundays at 9:30 a.m.