OUR HISTORY IS HIS STORY
Jan 3, 1856
The first meeting of Westminster Church – 22 attendees
Dec 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.
Dec 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.
Westminster Presbyterian – Rural Street
Westminster Presbyterian – Bell School Road
Sept 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 (Palm Sunday)
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 at Willowbrook Middle School
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 Events page 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!