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  • An Image Slideshow
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Our Leadership

Meet Our New Staff Members
 
 

Donna Kirkwood - Choir Director

 

 

Vision

Our Mission  Statement

We are a people who  believe that the love our God was revealed in Jesus Christ and having accepted  that love, we are committed to share the good news of God’s love by making Disciples  of Christ.

 

Our Covenant

To provide an inclusive  environment for Christian worship and learning.

To strive to be more  understanding and accepting of diversity of faith and culture as we work for peace and justice for all persons.

Nurture our children so  that they will embrace the Christian life.

To support with our  prayers and actions, brothers and sisters in our local and global communities.

Contact Us

 

1000 S. Washington St.
Lockport, Illinois 60441
(815) 838 1017

 

History

The Early Years......

During the winter of 1838, the Rev. William S. Chrissey, a Methodist Circuit Rider, organized the first group of Methodist worshippers and working with the Rev. Stephen Beggs of Plainfield added another station to his circuit in Lockport. The first group consisted of 13 members; by June of 1843 there were 30 Methodists gathered for meetings.

In July 1849 at a meeting of the members the decision was made to call themselves the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lockport. Trustees were elected and authorized to exchange a lot that had been granted to them by the I&M Canal Commissioners for a lot located at the northwest corner of 11th & Washington (a block south of our present property). In 1850 a building was constructed and still stands today modified for use as a residence.

The cornerstone of a second church building was laid on July 4, 1855 at 10th & Washington. The limestone for the building came from local quarries and the wood was hand-hewn from Lockport forests. The building was dedicated on July 13, 1856. Around the turn of the century electricity would replace the kerosene fixtures, and by 1927 furnaces replaced stoves in providing heat.

In September 1860, the church purchased its first organ, which was replaced in 1865 with one that had been built by the William Evans Organ factory of Lockport. Handmade, it stayed in use for over 90 years.

In 1867 a parsonage was built across the street on Washington. This property was sold in 1919 when property south of the church was purchased on which to build a parsonage.

A New Building....

By 1924 the church facilities were no longer adequate for the congregation’s needs and a 2-story cement block addition was added at the rear of the church building. This provided space for classrooms, a kitchen and washrooms.

Then on October 28, 1956 with Rev. Kenneth C. Yeoman officiating, the cornerstone for the present church building was laid. The original limestone church was renovated into an educational building that today houses the Sunday School, church offices, as well as a kitchen, washrooms, and facilities for our Circle of Love diaper ministry. The parsonage was demolished to provide for off street parking and one was purchased at 321 E. Second Street. That was in turn sold for the present day parsonage on Milne Drive.

In 1988 the church celebrated its 150th anniversary. Leading the sesquicentennial celebration was Pastor Martha J. Lewis.

Handicapped Accessible...

Moving into the 1990’s, First United Methodist of Lockport showed itself to be a strong and progressive congregation. Throughout the winter of 1992 discussions were held and it was decided to hold a Miracle Sunday to raise funds to pay for the construction costs of making our church handicapped accessible. On Mother’s Day, May 12, 1993, we prayed, and then as the announcement of funds and pledges were made we gave thanks and rejoiced! Construction was started in the summer of ’93 and completed by that winter. The building housing the sanctuary is fully handicapped accessible, including an elevator to the lower level and handicapped accessible restrooms.

Worshiping in Comfort .....

As the year 2000 approached, we enhanced our worship and fellowship time by installing air conditioning in both the sanctuary and Yeoman Hall. This enables us to worship in comfort all year around.

 

Our Beliefs

About Being a Methodist

John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting   people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God   through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian   living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley   referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United   Methodism today.

Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding   of God’s grace. This incredible grace flows from God’s great love for us. Did   you have to memorize John 3:16 in Sunday school when you were a child? There was   a good reason. This one verse summarizes the gospel: “For God so loved the world   that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish   but may have eternal life.” The ability to call to mind God’s love and God’s   gift of Jesus Christ is a rich resource for theology and faith.”

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, described God’s grace as   threefold:

  • prevenient grace   
  • justifying grace   
  • sanctifying grace

Prevenient Grace

Wesley understood grace as God’s active presence in our lives. This presence   is not dependent on human actions or human response. It is a gift—a gift that is   always available, but that can be refused.

God’s grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to   respond to God’s invitation to be in relationship with God. God’s grace enables   us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to   choose good….

God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. We do not have to beg and   plead for God’s love and grace. God actively seeks us!

Justifying Grace

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “In Christ God was reconciling the world   to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).   And in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul wrote: “But God proves his love   for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

These verses demonstrate the justifying grace of God. They point to   reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ our   sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. According to John   Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, the image of God—which has been   distorted by sin—is renewed within us through Christ’s death.

Again, this dimension of God’s grace is a gift. God’s grace alone brings us   into relationship with God. There are no hoops through which we have to jump in   order to please God and to be loved by God. God has acted in Jesus Christ. We   need only to respond in faith.

Sanctifying Grace

Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing   experience of God’s gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us   to be. John Wesley described this dimension of God’s grace as sanctification, or   holiness.

Through God’s sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as   Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in   fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God.   As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our   communities, we strengthen our capacity to love our neighbor. Our inner thoughts and   motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God’s will   and testify to our union with God.

We’re to press on, with God’s help, in the path of sanctification toward   perfection. By perfection, Wesley did not mean that we would not make mistakes   or have weaknesses. Rather, he understood it to be a continual process of being   made perfect in our love of God and each other and of removing our desire to   sin.

It's time for the CROP Walk

Click on the picture to find out

how you can patricipate!

 

An exciting new series about cancer.

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Join Us

 We are handicapped accessible providing:

 

   a wheelchair accessible

   entrance off of the parking lot

 

   an elevator to the lower level

 

   accessible restrooms

 

   large print bulletins and

   hymnals