In the spring of 1914 a number of pastors of the Evangelical Synod responded to the spiritual and community needs of the Volga German immigrants in the northwestern part of Chicago. Thirty-four members of families attended a meeting held in an abandoned carpenter shop held on the corner of Gunnison and LaVergne Avenues on the present site of the United Brethren Church (formerly Calvary Methodist Church).
On May 9, 1914 the Deutsche Evangelish Lutherischen Eden Gemeinde was organized following customs of their Russian homeland. The next day, the church applied for membership in the German Evangelical Synod of North America, and within two weeks the first pastor was called, lots at Gunnison and LeClaire were purchased and the cornerstone for the first church was laid. The cornerstone for the present building was laid in 1928, and the Educational Wing cornerstone was laid in 1957.*
We’ve been on a journey ever since. Our tradition centers on Christ’s grace and “justification by faith alone.” We have inherited a legacy of determined, generous, hard-working disciples who built and preserved this community to pass on such faith. We’ve grappled with language changes, name changes, and all the challenges faced by mainline churches in a changing world. A member of the United Church of Christ, we affirm that “God is still speaking.” We’re still listening. . . .
We have seen exciting changes at Eden in recent years. We celebrated our 100th anniversary in May 2014, have added new staff and developed new outreach (such as the weekly open gym and a number of organizations who share our building). Check out our calendar for event details.
We’re making our way, and trusting in grace and God’s generosity. It’s a great time to join this community of faith. You can be in the process of change with us, with real people who want to live and leave a legacy of faith.
*Contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org for archival materials outlining a more detailed history of Eden’s pastorates and other milestones.