Our Church History
Our church has a rich history and an eye to the future. We are small enough for people to know each other’s names while big enough to provide many ministries, activities and events for the community. We strive to be a friendly, welcoming congregation with both traditional and contemporary elements in our worship. This is a church that truly wants to grow and seeks to help others in the places they find themselves in life.
Hear more about our church from our MEMBERS.
The Federated Church of Wauconda is the second oldest church in Lake County, Illinois. The Baptist society of Wauconda was formed in the fall of 1838 and was more fully organized with 11 charter members in 1840. The Methodist church was organized in September 1853, but held meetings as early as 1840.
The first church building was erected in 1855-56 and was occupied by both the Baptist and Methodist congregations on alternating Sundays until 1870 when the Baptists erected their own building across the street, near the old train station, at a cost of $5,537.88. At this time, both denominations worshiped every Sunday in their respective buildings.
With both churches struggling to stay alive, in 1915, representatives from each church met to work out the Federated plans: They would worship together with alternating pastors – the first being a Methodist, the next a Baptist. Each group would keep their denominational connections. Worship services would be held in the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church was to be used as a community center. Dedication services were held on June 23, 1925.
In 1929, when State Route 176 was built through Wauconda, it took the ground upon which the Methodist Church stood. At this time, the Methodist building was moved across the street and connected to the Baptist Church. A sprinkling font and an immersion baptistry were installed to accommodate both faiths. Remodeling continued until 1935 when a new brick veneer was added and the joined structure was then dedicated.
On the south wall of the upstairs fellowship hall is a mural (shown at the top of this page) depicting the Main Street of Wauconda and the P. L. Z. and W. Railroad in the early 1900’s. The beautiful oil-on-canvas “Christ in Gethsemane” which adorns the wall over our altar was painted by renowned stained glass artist Oliver Croydon and his wife Ruth. The piece was dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1935 and represents Oliver’s interpretation of the 1890 work of Heinrich Hoffman. Ruth Croydon and their son, Fred, were members of our congregation.
Our beautiful stained glass windows are in memory of loved ones. You can see them in the Church Album.
In 1956, a third wing was added to the south side of the building (at a cost of $121,535) providing more space for Sunday School classes, church social gatherings, etc. Worship is currently held in the original Baptist sanctuary while the Sunday School, sacristy and lounge are housed in the section which was the former Methodist building.
Air conditioning was installed in the sanctuary and the carpeting was replaced in 2010. At that time, a renovated Youth room was completed in the basement and upgrades have been made to make our building more accessible to those with limitations.
In 2018, we celebrated the 180th anniversary in November 3rd and 4th.