OLDER CHURCHES OF HOFFMAN ESTATES

Recently Larry Rowan of Coldwell Banker lent the library a wonderful 1965 brochure for the Hoffman Highlands subdivision.  Included in the background of the brochure were various photos of Hoffman Estates taken at the time.  One was the church to the left.   Our test was to determine which church it is.

 After a bit of sleuthing, former Mayor Virginia Hayter suggested to us that it was the first church of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church that was built at the corner of Roselle Road and Illinois Boulevard in Hoffman Estates.  Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates historian, then passed the photo on to the current pastor of Prince of Peace and he confirmed that, yes,  it was indeed their first church–and the first church in the village of Hoffman Estates!

The Lutheran congregation began on March 3 1957, when Rev. Fleischmann began holding services in Twinbrook School.  The Rev. R. S. Kolberg began permanent work on July 2, 1957.  The church parsonage which was located at 118 Des Plaines was completed in September 1957. 

A church building committee consisting of Elmer Olson, chairman, Kenneth Johnson, Paul Olson, Andy Runyon, Norman Dostal, Edward Rickert and Pastor Kolberg began the work of seeing that a new church was erected.  Ground breaking was October 27, 1957 for the new $50,000 church.  The church was constructed to seat 200 people and its dimensions were 80 by 28 feet.  D.E. Allison and Associates were the architects.  The church construction was financed by the American Lutheran Church of which Prince of Peace was considered a package mission–a church and parsonage grouping. 

The cornerstone was blessed on March 31, 1958 by the Reverend Rudolph Kolberg.  The  first service was held on July 27, 1958 with the formal dedication being held on September 14, 1958 at 10:45 a.m. and 3 p.m.   Their last service was held in the church on April 17, 1966.  The church was then sold to the Christian Church of Hoffman Estates, now known as Summitview Christian Church.  When you drive past the church today, it is obvious it has been added on to.  Prince of Peace, in turn, moved to their current location on Higgins Road next to Hoffman Estates High School. 


The next test was the church to the right.  It is obvious there is a large cross on the church and, by the looks of it, the construction process was ongoing at the time the photo was taken. 

We are still unsure as to its identification and, in fact, it could be a church in another part of Schaumburg Township since the boundaries of the individual villages were still fluctuating at the time.  Can you help us out?  What aren’t we seeing?  Any clues are welcomed!

[We have our answer!  Our commenter, Bryan, was dead on with his guess that the above photo was Our Saviour’s Methodist Church on Golf Road!  A big thank you to Bryan!  A description of the early history of the church follows…

In November 1957, a group of people interested in starting a Methodist Church in the area, met in a home in Hoffman Estates.  An Organizational Meeting was held on March 16, 1958. The eighty-five people who came were the original charter members. Initially, worship services were held in local schools and public buildings.

In October, 1958 a vote was held to purchase a five-acre site on the south side of Golf road, just east of Basswood from Ellsworth Meineke.  The building was designed by Stade, Dolan and Anderson of Park Ridge.  Construction took two years and the cost was $75,000.  (The three crosses signify the crucifixion of Christ and the two thieves.) The first service was held there on Christmas Eve, 1960. The building was consecrated on January 22, 1961 in a 4:00 p.m. service conducted by Charles Wesley Brashares, resident bishop of the Chicago area. 

This church’s initial congregation consisted of 275 members and a Sunday School attendance of 186. Even so, the church was expanding and the numbers of children growing, so the halls and gymnasium of Twinbrook School were still used on Sunday mornings. An education wing was added to the building in 1967.

In 1968, the name of the church was changed to Our Saviour’s United Methodist Church.  By 1986 the church was outgrowing its building so the property was sold and new land was purchased at the current site of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads.  The old property is now the site of a Portillo’s restaurant and House of Bride’s in Schaumburg.]

(Much of this information is courtesy of the website of Our Saviour’s United Methodist Church.)

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9 Responses to “OLDER CHURCHES OF HOFFMAN ESTATES”

  1. bryan porcaro Says:

    This church photo looks a bit like early learner’s pre-school where I went in about 1977 and was located behind where the Portillo’s is on Golf Road (across from the old Woodfield Lanes). I have no idea if this is it but something deep in the back of my brain said this was it. Anyone know whatever happened to Early Learner’s?

    • jrozek Says:

      Thanks for the suggeston Bryan. I believe the church you are referring to is Our Saviour’s United Methodist Church. Their first location was exactly where you specified. I am in the process of looking into this. I’ll let you know…

  2. Thomas Whittle, Jr. Says:

    Hi, I was researching the name and location of the first church I remember which was a Methodist Church in Hoffman Estates, IL. My recollection was that it was located on Golf Rd., somewhat east of Roselle Rd., close to a business called Mineke’s Honey Farm on the south side of the road. The description above sounds accurate however the time line is wrong and makes me wonder if it is the same church. I have a large photo of the interior taken at the church’s dedication. It shows the congregation with my parents at the center front of the group. My mother was clearly pregnant with my sister at the time however, my late sister was born in May, 1958 (I was 3 1/2 yrs old) and the church pastor’s name was Benson. My father, Thomas L. Whittle, Sr., served as the church’s accountant which may explain why he and my mother are positioned at the center of the group. My father passed away in Nov. 1960 and my mother doesn’t recall the reason for their positions in the grouping for the photo. We were among the earliest homeowners in the original area of Hoffman Estates, our house was at the western edge of the first phase at the corner Kingman Ln. and Mohave. We moved in during 1957 and left in 1963.

    I can’t tell if the architecture of the building’s interior jives with the exterior photo posted on your page. I can easily attach and send you a high-resolution digital copy of my photo if you are interested in furthering this mystery.

    • jrozek Says:

      Thank you Mr. Whittle, for providing so much detailed information on this church that no longer exists. You are correct in saying that the church was next to Meineke’s Honey Farm. He, in fact, sold part of his land to the church so that they could build their new building.

      It took me a while to track down confirmation that this was Our Saviour’s Methodist Church. After showing the photo to many people, it was serendipity that I stumbled on the exact same picture in a newspaper article. I suspect that it is very much a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” It is always sad to see original buildings torn down. As a local historian, I appreciate all of the structures in Schaumburg Township.

      I find it very interesting that your father built the pulpit. I’m wondering if they transferred it to their new location when they moved to Schaumburg Road. I will call and inquire.

      I would very much like to see the photo if you could send it to me at jrozek@stdl.org. Do you think it was taken in another church in the area? If so, I could always post it to the blog. It is amazing how the readers seem to come up with the answers.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  3. Thomas Whittle, Jr. Says:

    Amending what I wrote previously, I believe what commenter Bryan added is very accurate. After speaking with my mother and getting her recollection of how the Methodist church was established, I’ve determined that the photo I possess was NOT taken in the new church building that was completed in 1960. I verified thru a website that details the Chicago area churches designed by architect Stader and it shows Our Savior Methodist Church in Hoffman Estates is listed under 1960 projects. My mother recalls the congregation meeting at various buildings and other churches in the area before the new building was completed and remembers the early process of forming the church very much as Bryan describes.

    After looking at all the beautiful and distinctive church designs by Mr. Stader during the 1950s and ’60s, it seems that with the demolition of Our Saviors United Methodist Church on Golf Rd. is a historic loss for the community of Hoffman Estates. His designs could arguably called architectural gems and could have amounted to a little historic treasure for the relatively “new” community of Hoffman Estates. My mother reminds me that my father who was by trade an accountant and auditor as well as a woodworker by passion, designed and built the original church’s pulpit from walnut. He also served as the church treasurer as well as the very first Village Treasurer for Hoffman Estates.

  4. David Olson Says:

    Thanks for this article about Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. My dad, Elmer Olson, was the chairman of the church’s building committee, as you mentioned. He worked for some architectural firms during his life, and was really dedicated to helping get the church built. I remember going to the ceremony where the cornerstone was dedicated. It’s amazing seeing his name so many years later, along with the others on the committee, all of whom were friends of my parents.

    Unfortunately, my father (and my mother) had a serious falling out with both Reverand Kolberg and his successor, Reverand Burmeister, and sadly left the church which my father had played a key role in helping get built.

  5. Duane S Says:

    Another bit of church history I recall from the early days of Hoffman Estates was the weekly masses held at the Buggy Whip lounge at Schaumburg Center. The building was a bar during the week but served as a Catholic Church on Sunday mornings. As you might expect it was “standing room only” for those attending and the crowd was normally more outside than inside as. The building was just south of the Schaumrose Inn (now Lou Malnati’s). This was of course prior to St. Huberts being built in what we called Parcel C in the early days.

    • jrozek Says:

      I’d like to do a blog posting on St. Buggy Whip–as it was euphemistically called. The library has a button in its possession that has those very words on it. I’ll have to see what else I can find.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  6. Donna S Says:

    I got married in the old Our Savior’s UMC. It was sad to see the building go and one of the congregation members came up with the idea to collect at least some of the bricks and sell them at the church’s bazaar one year at the new location (Schaumburg & Plum Grove Roads). I still have that brick that I bought. Bittersweet.

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