History of the Church

On Easter Day, April 17, 1960, The Presbyterian Church of Barrington was officially organized with 185 charter members. The Reverend Dr. William T. Jones, the executive Director of the Church Extension Board of the Presbytery of Chicago presided at congregational meeting where the Reverend Mr. Paul Winchester was elected pastor and the first Session was elected.

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History

In the Beginning

In 1958 a number of local residents of Barrington Hills were convinced that there was a need for a Presbyterian church in the Barrington area. They consulted with the Presbytery of Chicago and it was agreed that a new church development would be started. For a number of months the members of this new church met in the homes of these local residents throughout the area. In July, 1959, the Reverend Mr. Paul Winchester came from Lawrenceville, IL to lead a nucleus of about 50 families and a temporary council of 12 was formed. In November, 1959, the members of this new church development met for worship in Countryside School. The next month Church School classes began for 66 children ages four through 13 years of age.

A Church Is Born

On Easter Day, April 17, 1960, The Presbyterian Church of Barrington was officially organized with 185 charter members. The Reverend Dr. William T. Jones, the executive Director of the Church Extension Board of the Presbytery of Chicago presided at congregational meeting where the Reverend Mr. Paul Winchester was elected pastor and the first Session was elected.

A Permanent Home

By the summer of 1960, the Session understood that a new church home was needed. They appointed a temporary building committee. In November, 1960, Faulkner, Faulkner and Associate were retained as architects to design the church building. On April 1, 1962, the congregation authorized the construction of a new church building at the cost of $290,000.00 on an initial seven acre site on Brinker Road. On February 24, 1963, the congregation moved into our new church home. The initial unit of the building was complete and landscaped by December 15, 1963. The cornerstone containing the names of the charter members, copies of various worship services, building plans and a copy of the Holy Bible was laid on that date.

A Pastoral Transition

On December 31, 1963, The Reverend Mr. Paul Winchester announced at a meeting of the congregation his desire to dissolve the pastoral relationship existing between The Presbyterian Church of Barrington so that he might accept a call by the Grosse Point Woods Presbyterian Church in Grosse Point, Michigan. The congregation voted to affirm his request. The Presbytery appointed The Reverend Dr. William T. Jones of Arlington Heights, IL to become the Interim Pastor. At the annual meeting, the congregation nominated and elected the Pastor Nominating Committee.

After a nine month search, the Pastor Nominating Committee nominated The Reverend Dr. C. Victor Brown to be the next Pastor. The congregation unanimously accepted this motion, and on November 1, 1964, Dr. Brown began his ministry.

A Church Continues to Change and Grow

On November 7, 1965, a second Building Committee was formed to study proposals for a new Christian Education wing. The Plans were approved on July 17, 1966. A proposal to purchase a new Moeller Pipe Organ were approved the congregation at this same meeting.

On January 8, 1967, the groundbreaking ceremonies were held to celebrate the beginning of the construction of the Christian Educational wing. The new pipe organ was completed and dedicated on April 4, 1968 and the building project was completed and dedicated on June 9, 1968.

On May 9, 1969, the Session approved the purchase of an additional five acres adjoining south edge of church property. During the summer of 1969, a grounds beautification project was completed and dedicated. Landscaping, sidewalks, black top driveways and parking areas, outdoor lighting and a combination garage and tool storage building were completed.

In addition to the growth the church facilities, the congregation saw an increase in church programming and staffing. In September, 1968, The Reverend Mr. Morton Hickman was called to the position of Assistant Pastor and was promoted to Associate Pastor in February, 1970. After a two year ministry, Mr. Hickman was called to the Community Presbyterian Church in Lombard, IL. In August of that same year, The Reverend Dr. Richard H. Craft became the next Assistant Pastor. He was promoted to Associate Pastor in February, 1975.

In 1976, Dr. Craft accepted a call from the Elmwood Park Presbyterian Church and The Reverend Theodore A. Bush accepted our call to be Assistant Pastor for Christian Education. Shortly, thereafter Mr. Bush was promoted to Associate Pastor. The congregation added a third pastor to its staff by calling The Reverend Mrs. Shirley Funk as Assistant Pastor for Pastoral Care and Counseling. Mrs. Funk’s pastorate was deeply valued.

A Pastor Retires and New Search for a Pastor Begins

After 17 years of faithful service, The Reverend Dr. C. Victor Brown honorably retired as Pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Barrington and was named Pastor Emeritus. A search for then next began immediately. In 1982, the Pastor Nominating concluded its work by nominating The Reverend Dr. John Schmidt. By 1983, the membership of the church reached 1083. Mr. Bush accepted a new call in 1984 and Meg Ann Elliot became the Associate Pastor for Christian Education.

Building and Organ Renovation Campaign

After fifteen years of growth and use, the Session decided that the church facility was in need of a major renovation to meet the needs of the congregation and its staff. The Session also felt that the growing music program would be enhanced by adding to the organ. Plans for $850,000.00 renovation were made in 1984, executed in 1985, and dedicated in 1986. During this period the staff worked out of free standing trailer adjacent to the south of the sanctuary.

A New Innovation in the Christian Education Program

In 1987, The Reverend Ms. Meg Ann Elliot resigned her position so that she might accept a call to a different church family. Once again, an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee was formed and a search began. The congregation extended a call to the Reverend Mr. Neil McQueen. Ms. Melissa Armstrong-Hansche was hired to assist with the children’s education program. During their joint ministry in the Christian Education, Mr. McQueen and Ms. Armstrong-Hansche conceived of and developed a new model for Christian Education called “The Workshop Rotation Model.” This model of education emphasizes learning through multiple intelligences. Since its development, “The Workshop Rotation Model” has become a widely used educational methodology in several mainline denominations.

A Third Pastor for Pastoral Care Joins the Staff

In 1992, the Session studied the congregation’s need for additional pastoral services and concluded that Dr. Schmidt’s ministry would be greatly enhanced by making this addition to the staff. An Associate Pastor Nominating Committee was formed and a search was begun. The committee concluded its work in 1993 and nominated The Reverend Mr. Daniel R. Spike.

A Pastor Announces his Planned Retirement and an Associate Pastor Resigns

In 1996, Dr. Schmidt announced his intention to retired in 1998. He made this announcement so that our family of faith could make an orderly transition from one pastor to another. The congregation also learned that Mr. McQueen planned to resign in his position in August, 1996 so that he might pursue the further development of “The Workshop Rotation Model” more broadly in The Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Dr. Schmidt recommended that the congregation not seek to replace Mr. McQueen until the next pastor was nominated and installed. After a vigorous debate, the Session voted to accept Dr. Schmidt’s recommendation. After 16 years of faithful service to the congregation, Dr. Schmidt retired and was named Pastor Emeritus.

A Search for the Next Pastor

The Reverend Dr. Jeffery O’Neill was named Interim Pastor in the spring of 1998. After the preparation of a Church Information Form, the search for the next Pastor began. After a diligent search, the Pastor Nominating Committee presented The Reverend Dr. Curtis T. Baxter to congregation. Dr. Baxter began his ministry in January, 2000.