In January 1993, on a cold winter day, J.E. Yonts and his wife JoAnn arrived in Chicago.
Within days, even before getting settled, they began teaching Bible studies in their home. Interested people came, learned, and responded to the Word of God. Soon the fledgling congregation grew as God baptized many with His Spirit.
A small nucleus was soon established. In July of 1993, they moved from their home to a park district building called the Bock Center. Here they held a regular Sunday service. The auditorium was small not even having a platform. It was located next to the swimming pool which often created an interesting disturbance. In spite of these obstacles, the congregation continued to grow.
A midweek service could not be conducted at the Bock Center so a second park district building was obtained for a midweek service. Often, the loud speakers in the auditorium would blare with the center’s announcements. But God blessed and the church continued to grow. The next move was to rent an Episcopal church. Now, both midweek and Sunday service could be held in the same location.
When Pastor Yonts founded the church, he was nearing his 65th birthday. By the end of that year, his son-in-law and daughter Robert and Valarie Boettcher moved to Elgin and joined the congregation. They were a special blessing and soon he felt the call to the ministry. Robert Boettcher’s first responsibility was that of worship leader. He then became the youth pastor. Youth services were held in his home as the Boettchers aided in the discipleship of the youth. He was later named assistant pastor and associate pastor of the growing church.
The preaching was Apostolic: preached with anointing and confirmed by the presence of the Lord. The congregation continued to grow. After a year of growth at the Episcopal church, the congregation was told to find another place to worship. This presented a major problem. Most available churches were already renting to emerging churches. Much prayer was made to God for this situation.
God was faithful and a large Lutheran church rented out a place to hold services to the congregation. On Sunday during service, the sun would shine through the huge windows and blind the congregation during preaching. (Sometimes there was a shifting of seating.) God blessed and the congregation had additional converts. The Lutheran church was host of this fledgling church for about 5 years and by then they were ready to purchase their own building. Many properties were investigated and rejected. An offer was made on a church building. The offer was rejected. The congregation made a decision to build their own building. Three acres were purchased at 270 E. Schick Road, Bartlett IL and plans were drawn by one of the elders.
The excitement of building a new church caused joy to run high throughout the congregation. Seven years without a permanent place of worship would soon be ended. A sizable sum had been saved but additional funds would need to be borrowed. The church’s credit was good. At this time, God moved with a miracle. A good member, whom God had especially blessed, came forward and supplied the additional funds that were about to be borrowed. The present structure (270 E Schick Road) was erected, finished, and furnished completely debt free. All glory be to the Lord Jesus.
In 2001, the congregation elected Robert Boettcher as Lead Pastor and J.E. Yonts became Senior Pastor. This change passed the mantle to Pastor Robert Boettcher. The church has continued to be showered with the blessings of the Lord Jesus.
Revival has been the order of the day. Training for leadership and ministry has been a priority. Making disciples is an on-going practice. Caring for the unsaved is the passion of the church. Planting new churches is a continuous goal with now four daughter works existing in Chicago Metro.