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Our History

First things first — so what's the deal with our funny handle, you may ask? "North Northfield" was named long before Northbrook existed. The church is located near the north side of Northfield Township and is several miles from the current village of Northfield. (A township is a special form of municipal government originally intended to serve rural areas — it is different than a village, city or county.) Our name is true to our long heritage.

If you gathered from the above explanation that we got our start quite awhile ago, you would be right! In 1834, Daniel Stanger, age 25, walked almost the entire distance from eastern Pennsylvania to make his home along the Des Plaines River, just south of present-day Wheeling. Stanger's reports from the new "promised land" encouraged more German-speaking settlers to follow from the east. Bishop John Seybert, the first missionary of the young Evangelical Association, had been their spiritual leader in Pennsylvania. It was through his labors and under his guidance that the Evangelicals gained a foothold on the frontiers of the Midwest. Bishop Seybert sent Rev. Jacob Boas to organize preaching stations in the newly settled territory. His first Illinois sermon was on July 25, 1837, in the log cabin of Daniel and Mary Stanger, located near what is now Dam No. 1 on the Des Plaines River. His July 25 sermon marked the birth of both the Illinois Conference of what would become the United Methodist Church and the North Northfield congregation.



Here are some highlights of our history (move mouse over links for more info.):

North Northfield 175th anniversary slide show



While our church has a rich history, we feel that we are as relevant today as those who came before us were in their time. In Christ, God's love claims us as family — one rooted in Christian tradition and in the open hearts, open minds, open doors of the people of the United Methodist Church, believing that God's grace and love are offered to all. Our tradition puts love into action, always mindful of the missions of doing justice and spreading God's love to a hurting world. Together, we center our lives in the hope that faith makes a difference — in and beyond our family. We dare to believe that faith can change the world.

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