Who We Are
As a response to God’s grace to us, our timeless mission is to be Gathered in Love, Centered in Christ, and Empowered for Mission, through the presence of the Holy Spirit and founded on the Word of God and the Confessions of the Presbyterian Church USA.
Gathered in Love, Centered in Christ, Empowered for Mission.
Missionaries: Inviting, Growing, Serving.
Westminster is rooted in the historic Christian church, part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
What We Believe
We believe that Jesus Christ is “fully human and fully divine, one person in two natures, without confusion and without change, without separation and without division.” This statement dates all the way back to the fifth century and is reflected in virtually all Christian churches.
Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Our theology, our faith, and our mission is Centered in Christ as Jesus himself stands at the center of all our theological reflections.
God’s love is a mystery beyond the reach of our understanding. God is revealed through the Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, united in love and grace, wisdom and goodness.
God reveals love for humanity in Jesus Christ by showing power in the form of a servant, wisdom in the folly of the cross, and goodness in receiving broken sinful humanity.
God created us for a personal relationship with our Creator in response to God’s love.
The Holy Spirit completes the work of reconciliation in our lives. The Holy Spirit creates and renews us as the community in which we are reconciled to God and to one another. God enables us to receive forgiveness as we forgive one another and to enjoy the peace of God as we make peace among our relationships.
The church is the community of God’s people which is known by its belief and its action. We believe that each member of the church is uniquely gifted for the building up of the Body of Christ and has a unique contribution to make within the life of the church. We call this belief, “The Priesthood of All Believers.”
Sacraments are outward signs which convey inward grace. We believe that sacraments were started by Jesus and available for all people. We celebrate two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
“The mission of God in Christ gives shape and substance to the life and work of the Church. In Christ, the Church participates in God’s mission for the transformation of creation and humanity by proclaiming to all people the good news of God’s love, offering to all people the grace of God at font and table, and calling all people to discipleship in Christ.” (Book of Order)
God’s mission, “To be reconciled to God is to be sent into the world as his reconciling community. This community, the church universal, is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation and shares his labor of healing the enmities which separate men from God and from each other. Christ has called the church to this mission and given it the gift of the Holy Spirit. The church maintains continuity with the apostles and with Israel by faithful obedience to his call.” (Book of Confessions – Confession of 1967)
“The one sufficient revelation of God is Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became flesh, to whom the Holy Spirit bears unique and authoritative witness through the Holy Scriptures, which are received and obeyed as the word of God written. The Scriptures are not a witness among others, but the witness without parallel. The church has received the books of the Old and New Testaments as prophetic and apostolic testimony in which it hears the word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated.” (Book of Confessions – Confession of 1967)
Our History Is His Story
January 3, 1856
The first meeting of Westminster Church – 22 attendees.
December 20, 1858
First building dedicated at South Second and Oak. A custodian was hired for $38 a year. Rev. Morrison Higgins from N.Y. State was the first minister at an annual salary of $800. Only 47 days later he died of pneumonia at the age of 42. The new church was draped in black.
Hitching posts were installed along the church. In those early years, pews were rented. In the first 50 years of our church history the average tenure of 12 ministers was 4 1/2 yrs. Church officers changed little. Membership grew to 326. In early years, several members were excommunicated by session for “improper conduct, drinking and non-attendance.” As late as 1947, three members were dropped for “continued unchristian conduct.”
At a cost of $3,600, a manse on an adjoining lot to the north of the church was built. In January of 1910, a committee was formed to solicit funds for remodeling the church building. Work was begun in June, 1911, and the remodeled church was dedicated November 29, 1911; the cost of the project was $23,000.
April 6, 1946
Fire devastated the building that had been Westminster’s home for 87 years. After the fire, Mr. & Mrs. O.D. Corbridge gave as a gift a site for a new church at 3000 Rural St., in the middle of a cornfield. During the five intermediate years, services were held in the Masonic Temple.
December 9, 1951
The new church on Rural Street was dedicated. Through wars, depression and a disastrous fire this congregation grew from 22 charter members to 776 in the new, expanding neighborhood on Rural Street
September 11, 2001
The request was made to Presbytery to buy 80 acres of land for a future church.
April 15, 2004
Ground was broken on land at Spring Creek and Bell School . . . again in a cornfield.
April 9, 2006
First service in our new building at 2821 N. Bell School Road.
A mid-week Kids Club was launched at Willowbrook Middle School. The new outreach program was named Westminster Stateline.
Westminster Stateline launched a full range of ministries a Saturday evening worship service. Westminster Stateline worshipped at Willow Brook Middle School for three years and half years before moving to share space with Open Arms Lutheran Church. The campus served the Stateline community through Kids Club, Mobile Food Pantries, and dynamic worship but was ultimately absorbed back into the Rockford campus in July 2016.
Westminster continues to meet at the corner of Bell School & Spring Creek Roads. Please see our homepage for service times, and our Calendar for upcoming activities. Our congregation is very warm & welcoming, and with lots of opportunities to get involved at the church and in service to our community, we hope that you will check us out soon!