NORTHERN ILLINOIS CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Southlawn
United Methodist Church

8605 S. Cregier Avenue, Chicago, IL  60617
"Holding, Helping and Healing with God's Limitless Love"
EXPLORE


Church History

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Southlawn United Methodist Church began as a mission post in 1924 and a predominately Anglo faith community in the Calumet Heights area of Chicago, which was then a white ethnic enclave. Sunday School classes began in June of that year in a portable school at 8337 South Constance, under the leadership of a theological student from Garrett Biblical Institute.

The church was legally organized in 1925 as the Southlawn Methodist Episcopal Church, receiving eight adults into membership. The church was built on the southwest corner of 86th and McFarlane (now known as Cregier) Avenue. A "Quonset hut” was purchased and erected and served as the worship site.

In 1950, the Southlawn building, in its present location, was occupied. That building is presently the southeast wing of our current edifice including the first Fellowship Hall. After a period of eleven years, the second unit of Southlawn, or the northwest wing containing the sanctuary, the pastor’s study, nursery, office and narthex, was completed and consecrated on March 12, 1961. The church parsonage was built on the site of the old church building in 1963

Around 1965, the Calumet Heights community began undergoing racial change and transition; this was also the case for Southlawn. African-Americans began to attend and join the church. The church doors were opened to all who felt the need and cared to come, as well as community groups.

By 1978, Southlawn’s racial transition was complete. Southlawn had come through the change as forthrightly and gracefully as the lines of the cross atop its pinnacle. The church continues to progress. Its “Open Door” and commitment to God, family and community is manifest in its openness to the community, ecumenical commitment and willingness to share resources for ministry with all of God's people.

Southlawn is an African-American community of faith that is grounded in God's love and engaged in transforming persons and systems in the name of Jesus Christ. Our history represents God's transformative love and the continuing struggle for human dignity and hope.

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