Chapters 1 & 2 History

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    A humble beginning
    It was 1993 when a small group of believers began meeting for Bible study at the Kinneys’ and when the first worship service was held in the Glen Ellyn Park District building. Galvanized by a common vision of Communicate, Cultivate and Celebrate life in Jesus Christ, and under the name Community Fellowship Church, the group grew beyond the capacity of its modest office building space. As God continued to bless, the church transitioned to Wheaton Academy and then to Glenbard North High School for its worship space.

    In 1998, the church leadership felt led to pursue a permanent home for Community Fellowship. And after raising $1.35 million through an initial “Take the Land” campaign, CF was able to purchase 19 acres of land on North Avenue in West Chicago. Through a subsequent $3.03 million “Eyes toward the Harvest” campaign along with a mortgage note for $4.8 million, the church was able to construct a beautiful multi-purpose building which continues to serve as its home to this day. In 2004, our first pastor, Bill Crawford, transitioned to a new role at FCA and Community Fellowship entered into a new chapter.

    Navigating new waters
    In 2005, CF began a new season with the selection of Dave McDowell as Senior Pastor. Bolstered by a new, permanent worship space and a strong connection to its mission, the pastor and the elders led the church into a season of renewed vision and identity as a West Chicago church. Beginning in 2007-08, the country plunged into a deep recession and the waters for CF became very turbulent. As giving declined, the church was forced to reduce its operating budget by over $400 thousand, impacting every area of ministry. Thanks to the faithful commitment of the congregation, Community Fellowship was able to navigate those difficult times and began experiencing a financial rebound. In fact, as economic turmoil was forcing many churches to close their doors, Community Fellowship experienced a resurgence in missional activity and expanded its community outreach with innovative programs that included:

    • Feed My Starving Children
    • The Christmas Store
    • Community Soccer Camp
    • Children’s Hunger Fund
    • CareFest

    Additionally, the church has been able to pay down its mortgage to $2.32 million. In January of 2013, Pastor Dave announced that he would be stepping down the end of July of 2014, and Community Fellowship began preparing for a new leader and a new chapter.

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