United Christian Church, Country Club Hills, IL
|Denomination||Disciples of Christ|
|Contact Info||4351 W. 180th St. Country Club Hills, IL 60478 Tel: (708) 798-0951|
United Christian Church is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and began life in 1957 as a “new church development project” of the Chicago Disciples Union (the local cluster of the regional manifestation of the denomination) and the Church Federation of Greater Chicago. This was about the same time as the first phases of the community of Country Club Hills were being built. The congregation originally met in the old firehouse (now Kiwanis Park) and in various school buildings until 1962 when it moved into the first permanent building on the current site which now serves as the Fellowship Hall. In 1989, the First Christian Church of Harvey (founded in 1892) merged with United Christian. The new sanctuary was completed in November of 1993. The new mission statement is yet to be completed and might be considered “in process.” Our goal is to become a place where we can live out Gods’ call to be God’s community here on earth—a place where all of God’s children can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in our worship and prayer, in our witness to the community as a location for PADS or as a place for the Scouts to meet, a place to play, and a place for serious study of the Scriptures and what they mean to us in today’s world. The Church motto has been: Agreed to differ, Resolved to love, United to Serve. There are 135 active members on the rolls: 17 percent African-American; 50 percent of the congregation is over 55 years old. Of the 19 new members who have joined in the last year, 18 are under 40. We have had 4 inactive members return to active participation. Our average Sunday attendance has risen from 63 to 85. Our Youth Program now consists of a nucleus of one high school student, eight children between the ages of 6 and 11 and three infants. This is a “bedroom” community of middle income residents. There are no major industries or shopping malls within Country Club Hills (CCH) proper, though there are many in neighboring communities. Sixty percent of the church membership does not live in CCH. The community had a population in the 1990 census of approximately 15,000 and was split about 60/40 between Caucasian and African American people. The unofficial estimate is that the community is now closer to the reverse of the 1990 ethnic percentage ratio and closer to 17,000 residents. All of the new residents moving into the newly built homes are African American.
This congregation presents an opportunity to experience a church that is coming to grips with the fact that some changes must be made to address the social and religious issues of the community as it exits today. To remain a viable witness to God’s presence, youth programs, preaching, and worship styles are being reviewed. At the same time, the congregation recognizes its responsibility to the saints who are near the end of their life journeys and require the support of the church that they helped to build.
The Reverend Howard Kennon
The Church is 25 miles southwest of McCormick. There is no dependable public transportation to the community or the church.