Historical Overview of First Church (A United Methodist Congregation) in Crystal Lake, Illinois

1836 - Crystal Lake is settled by the Beman & Polly Crandall family.  Religious services held with Christopher Walkup, Uriah Cottle and A. W. Beardsley.

1839 - The Methodist Episcopal Society is organized in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

1840 - Membership is 51.

1846 - Log Cabin Church building is constructed on West corner of Virginia St. and McHenry Ave.

1855 - Railroad built thru town, the following year a spur is built down ‘Dole Ave.’ to Main Beach for ice removal for Chicago.

1858 - Another church building is purchased a little further West on Virginia St. across from McCormick Park for $1400.

1867 - Congregational Church building purchased for $400 and moved to the corner of Grant & Woodstock streets, Crystal Lake Methodists join the Nunda Methodists and worship in this new building.

1870 - Membership 77.

1873 - Methodist Church is built on the southwest corner of Brink & William St. (downtown) for a cost of $2500, and dedicated on 11/15/1874.

1898 - The Church is extensively remodeled including stained glass windows.

1899 - A parsonage is built across Williams Street from the front door of the church.

1912 - Membership 130.

1914 - Crystal Lake becomes incorporated as a city consolidating the villages of Crystal Lake and North Crystal Lake (Nunda)

1920 - The Downtown Church is remodeled - new entry, organ, and boiler. Membership is 120.

1926 - Boy Scouts of America charters with our church to form Troop 158, now the oldest Troop in McHenry County.

1936 - Crystal Lake population is 3724.

1948 - Membership is 365.

1949 - Celebrate 110 years in Crystal Lake and 75 years in our downtown building.

1952 - Purchased the initial 5 acres of land at Crystal Lake Ave. & Dole Ave. and planned the present church building.

1953 - Groundbreaking and construction begins for our present church building.

1954 - December 19th, the first worship service is held in the new sanctuary with Rev. Gil Weisshaar.

1955 - February 6th, formal opening of present church - First Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

1958 - Parsonage built on Crystal Lake Ave. down from the church and across the street. Rev. Lloyd Coleman lived there.

1962 - Church School ‘Educational Wing’ and steeple added on to the building. Membership is 804.

1965 - Pre-School begins it’s first class (now oldest in the County), Church Membership is now 1064.

1966 - Dedication of Carillon Bells.

1968 - Methodists merge with Evangelical United Brethren and we become First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

1969 - Original permanent brick sign built outside the sanctuary on Crystal Lake Ave.; Second parsonage purchased of  Lincoln Pkwy. and occupied by Associate Pastor Wilber Hopkins.

1970 - The ‘First Addition’ - the Educational Wing - debt is paid off.

1971 - Worship in the Woods begins under the direction of Rev. Jim Paulson and Rev. Bob Baker.

1972 - Membership is 1280.

1973 - Poor Man’s Gourmet begins.

1974 - Lincoln Pkwy. Parsonage sold and 11 Dole Ave. bought, both occupied by Associate Pastor Bob & Jeanne Baker.

1975 - ‘United’ stone added to name of church by front entrance.

1976 - Church sign outside sanctuary is added onto; FUMC adopts Chilean Family - Juan & Judy Castillo with 2 children.

1977 - Church Camp Outs begin in various locations including Gov. Dodge St. Park, WI.

1978 - Sanctuary loft is remodeled and Casavant Tracker Organ is installed, choir moves to the loft after sanctuary altar area is  remodeled. Dedication concert is held on September 16, 1979.

1984 - 200 Years of Methodism in America is celebrated.

1988 - Membership is 958.

1989 - Sesquicentennial is celebrated - 150 years of Methodism in Crystal Lake.

1990 - Disciple Bible Study begins with Pastor Ray Miller and Pastor Mike Marshall leading, ASP (Appalachian Service Project) began as Youth Mission to Harland County, KY.

1991 - Saturday Night Alive contemporary worship service is offered at 6 p.m. on Saturday, ASP changes to SWAP (Sharing With Appalachian People) as mission project for the Youth.

1992 - Ground is broken for New Sanctuary addition on October 11th.

1994 - First worship service held in new sanctuary on Mother’s Day. Cost is $2,100,000; Fourth of July Hot Dog Booth begins  sponsored by Praise Team.

1995 - White Angel Project (with the U. of Chicago Hospital for kids with HIV/AIDS) begins.

1997 - CrossRoads contemporary worship service is offered at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

2001 - Advent by Candlelight begins, Nursing Home Ministry begins.

2002 - Stained Glass is added to front window of sanctuary and dedicated on June 3rd; Cross added to Chapel in the Woods.

2003 - Debt on entire facility is paid in full!  Community Dinner begins in Wesley Hall.

2005 - Membership is 1188. Celebration of 50 years on present site, Sound Booth rebuilt & original taken to Hale Chapel; Hale Chapel windows replaced.

2006 - Columbarium dedicated on Aug. 27, Chapel in the Woods re-done.

2008 - Home Groups partner with Salvation Army Bell Ringing.

2009 - UMM builds first house in Moss Point, MS for Katrina victims (two additional homes built in years 2010 and 2011).

2012 - Stirred2Serve begins - church leaves the building and we go and pack meals for Haiti (also in 2013), UMM mission trip to Henryville IN.

2013 - Stephen Ministry begins again.

2014 - First United Methodist Church celebrates 175 years of Methodism in Crystal Lake; ‘First Church (A United Methodist Congregation)’ is adopted as new church name; the 1920 Boiler is replaced. Summoned2Serve (renamed from Stirred2Serve) packs 100,000 meals for Haiti.