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.