We are grateful to have paid off our mortgage in 2017 and now have a debt free campus to worship and provide resources to the community like a Food Pantry, Thrift Store, Medical Lending Closet, and an active PADS homeless ministry. We also have a rich legacy of being the initial home for several synagogues in our area!
The Northern Illinois Conference Board of Missions and the First Methodist Church of Arlington Heights saw a need for a new church in the Buffalo Grove and Wheeling area. The Board of Missions purchased six acres of land, including a stone house and a frame machine shop for the purpose of using it to organize a new Methodist congregation.
In June 1963, Clark Holt was appointed as the organizing pastor. 75 persons attended the first worship service on September 8, 1963 with the support of First Church in Arlington Heights. Most of the preparation of the machine shed for worship was done by prospective members of the newly emerging congregation. We were then chartered on April 12, 1964 as an official Methodist congregation. It became fully self-supporting by January 1, 1967.
We later adopted the name of Kingswood, a school started by John Wesley, founder of Methodism, for children of miners and Methodist preachers in Bristol, England.
After the denominational merger in 1968, we then became Kingswood United Methodist Church.
Because of steady growth, a new building was built and opened in September of 1969. This building included a sanctuary for 250 people, pastor’s study, church office, nursery, kitchen, washrooms, and the Fireside Room which served as dining and meeting rooms.
Growth continued and more space was needed. In September of 1978, a building addition was completed. This included 6 classrooms, a music room, two offices, a kitchen and a gymnasium. Sanctuary seating was increased to 350. In 1980, Grace UMC of Prairie View was linked to Kingswood for expanded ministry. They later merged into Kingswood and the facility was sold.
In 1997-98, another addition was added including 11 classrooms, renovations of the sanctuary and Fireside Room, and new hallways.
We focused on serving others and the community from its very beginning. Mission and outreach are a basic part of our identity along with dynamic worship and Christian education for youth and children as well as adults.
We have been very committed to interfaith and ecumenical relationships being a founding member of the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council and being the initial home for several synagogues in our area.
We have a food pantry, Thrift Store, Medical Lending Closet, and an active PADS homeless ministry. We also have annual youth and adult mission trips as well as local mission projects and initiatives. We have also done international mission to Liberia, Jamaica, Guatemala, and The Philippines. It helped build a congregation in The Philippines which is also called Kingswood.
In 2013, the congregation approved a new vision plan which restated our mission to LOVE God, SERVE others, and BUILD sacred community. The plan called us to strengthen worship, reduce our mortgage debt, increase our local mission outreach, expand our technology and social media capabilities, embrace the growing diversity of our community, and to reach new people in life-changing ways.
In 2017, the church celebrated the paying off of our mortgage by burning our mortgage note and voting to implement a new leadership structure.
Both of these accomplishments in the life of our church have created a stronger future and a dynamic legacy for us to look back on. It is an exciting and wonderful time to be at Kingswood as we move forward to a bright future for the ministry of Kingswood!