In 1986, a handful of people from Moody Memorial Church met to share their vision of a contemporary Christian church on the Near North side of Chicago. With the blessing of Moody Memorial Church, the first worship service of Park Community Church was held in the summer of 1987. By the end of that year, Park Community Church was holding weekly services in the middle of Lincoln Park, in the auditorium of Francis Parker School.
Park Community Church sought to be a biblical and dynamic church that focused on celebrating the life of Jesus Christ, while ministering with relevance and excellence to the needs of both those who believe and don’t believe in Him.
For the first several years, Matt Heard, one of the founders of Park Community Church, served as senior pastor. When Matt left in 1990 to pursue additional education, the young church embarked on a search for a new pastor.
For two years a team of elders and guest speakers carried the vision and shepherded the people of Park. The search committee then recommended Ray Carter, an intern at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, for the position of senior pastor. Ray had recently left a background of teaching and coaching to complete a Master of Theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. In 1993, Park Community Church confirmed Ray as senior pastor.
Over the next several years Park Community Church continued to grow and thrive throughout the city.
Jackson Crum joined Park Community Church as lead pastor and elder in March of 2004, following the departure of Ray Carter in 2002. He set a vision for the church to reach 1% of the city of Chicago and see them incorporated into biblical community.
In 2005, God blessed Park through the purchase of an old warehouse located at 1001 N. Crosby in the Cabrini Green neighborhood. For the first time in nearly 20 years, Park would have a permanent place to call their own.
Through the faithful giving of those who believed in the vision and mission of Park, over the next three years the old warehouse was transformed to become a testimony of God’s faithfulness.
In the summer of 2008, the first services were held at the Near North Campus. Park continues to have a presence in Lincoln Park at Francis Parker School, where the Lincoln Park Campus still meets. Over the next five years, Park continued to expand as one church in many locations by opening campuses in the Near South, Forest Glen, Rogers Park, and Edgebrook neighborhoods.
While Park has a rich history, we believe that there are even greater things to come. Park’s story is still being written and we invite you to join us on the adventure!
We exist to be a biblical community where the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives, renews the city, and impacts the world.
We live to know God and make Him known.