Church History

The Congregational Church of Park Manor, UCC, as it is now called, is located on the southwest corner of 70th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (South Park Avenue). A congregational church has occupied the building since 1891. In 1950, members of the church faced challenges associated with racial diversity, as Blacks began to move into the community, amid conflict.In September 1952, the former Park Manor Congregational Church began negotiations with the Chicago City Missionary Society (now the Community Renewal Society) to transfer or sell the building to a new group within the same Congregational Christian fellowship.
The sale was proposed to occur at a greatly reduced price, if such a new church could be organized.In January 1953, a planning and advisory committee was formed. The Committee consisted of representatives of Lincoln Memorial Congregation and the Church of the Good Shepherd Congregational Church, the City Missionary Society, the Chicago Theological Seminary, Park Manor Congregational Church, and the National Board of Home Missions.In February 1953, sixty members of the Church of the Good Shepherd Congregational and Lincoln Memorial Congregational churches canvassed residents of the Park Manor area.
As a result of the canvas, the foundation was laid for the organization of the Congregational Church of Park Manor, UCC.Over the years, The Congregational Church of Park Manor, UCC has continued under the leadership of many pastors, each having its own leadership style and vision: Rev. John R. Schwenke (Organizer); Rev. Dr. William J. Faulkner (1st Pastor); Rev. Dr. Arthur D. Gray (2nd Pastor); Rev. Dr. James H. Hargett (3rd Pastor); Rev. Dr. George Polk (Interim); Rev. Dr. Reuben A. Sheares, II 4th Pastor); Rev. George Thomas (Interim); Rev. Dr. Luther Holland (5th Pastor); Rev. Michelle D. Hughes (Interim).
Today, The Congregational Church of Park Manor, UCC is being spiritually led by Rev. Dr. Terrill N. Murff. Rev. Murff brings a spirit/vision of “newness”, “growth” and “change”. It is through this vision that Park Manor is currently on the path of – STEPPING INTO A NEW ERA!!”