Evangelical Congregational Church records

Identity elements

Reference code

US-IlHpCH 2022.3

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Evangelical Congregational Church records


  • 1855-2016 (Creation)


11.25 linear feet

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Administrative history

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The Evangelical Congregational Church of Highland Park marked its official founding on June 28, 1896, with the dedication of its newly erected church building, but the church’s origins date back further. The early church was comprised of German speaking pioneer settlers from Pennsylvania who had been members of the Evangelical Association found by Jacob Albright. In 1839, these settlers started a church in what is now North Northfield. Some of these church families relocated to Highland Park and formed a group that by 1873 was part of the Des Plains circuit. A church building was erected in 1883 on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Green Bay Road. In 1894, the Illinois Conference of the United Evangelical Church was organized following a division of the Evangelical Association. The First United Evangelical Church of Highland Park was organized under this conference and construction began on the permanent church building.

Upon the dedication of the church building in 1896 by Bishop Rudolph Dubs, H. H. Thoren became the first pastor. The church originally held its services in German until introducing an English service in 1898 and the earliest records of the church are written in German. In 1913 the church sent out its first missionary, Homer Dubs, to China and enlarged the basement of the building. The church decided to remain independent during the merger of the two national denominations, The United Evangelical Church and the Evangelical Association in 1922. The interior of the church was remodeled in 1935. During the 1950s the basement was enlarged again, and the steeple lowered due to deterioration of the wood. On June 24, 1962, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new Christian Education Building to provide more space. The completed building was dedicated on May 26, 1963, by Bishop H. H. Scanlin. The church became affiliated with the Evangelical Congregational Church headquartered in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, the successor to the United Evangelical Church. The last service at the Evangelical Congregational Church of Highland Park was held on December 28, 2010.

The collection is organized into eight series: Administrative Records; Organizations; Women’s Missionary Society and Sunday School; Special Days; Memorabilia; Photographs; Publications; and Miscellaneous. The records document the operations, activities, and members of the church as well as their relationship with regional and national church groups.

System of arrangement

The original arrangement and folder titles were retained in most series. Exceptions include the Publications and Photographs series that were formed out of boxes labeled “Miscellaneous”.

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Languages of the material

  • English
  • German

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

The earliest records of the church are written in German. Translations are included for only a portion of these records.

Finding aids

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Separations (printed non-local) Abridged discipline ; Articles of faith rules and abridges polity of the ECC Endorsed by the Board of Missions 32 pages n.d. ; Crossing the seas via the good ship prayer Rev. 1968 ;
Discipline : The Creed, Ritual and discipline…Compiled by the Woman’s home…1960 2 copies ; Handbook for Woman’s home and foreign missionary societies of the ECC. Church Center press 1948 2 copies ; Handbook for Woman’s home and foreign missionary societies of the ECC 1992 2 copies ; Missions of the ECC Seventh Quadrennial report ; Summer quarter requests 1954; the Oriental Boat Mission ; Qualifications and Preparation of Missionary Candidates for service under the board of missions Moody Press 1922 ; The EC Missionary Album American Bible Society --notes in back n.d. ; The Evangelical Congregational Church Missionary Family Prayer Guide 1974 n.d. annotated ; The Gospel of John the Apostle n.d. ; The Gospel of Saint Luke 1960 ; The Handy Guide for young people’s missionary societ yAuxiliary 1946-1950. Records : Tablet with list.


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Physical storage

  • Box: 1-6
  • Box: 7-8
  • Box: 10-13
  • Box: 14
  • Box: 9
  • Box: 15
  • Box: 16