History

 

Pilgrim Congregational Church was founded in 1874 with the first meeting of the Ridgeland Congregational Society, held in the Ridgeland Avenue railroad station of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.

Pilgrim celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1999 and is well into the second century of ministry and services in the Oak Park area.  Our lovely and unusual building dates back to 1889 and reached its final form in 1900. The building is the oldest structure continuously used for worship in Oak Park and is on the Register of Historic Places. The Hasbrouck-Sprague survey of Oak Park architecture rated the building as an outstanding example of the Queen Anne Revival Style, significant beyond Oak Park.

Denominationally, we trace our religious ancestry back to the early Puritan Congregationalists who came as Pilgrims to the new world. Having been active in the Council of Congregational Churches, Pilgrim continued its affiliation with its sister churches with the merger of Congregational Christian Churches and Evangelical and Reformed Churches in 1957. As a member of the United Church of Christ, Pilgrim maintains the “free church” tradition of local congregational autonomy in all matters.

Learn more in our Historical Profile.