Church History

It is hard to say when the first Presbyterian congregation was founded in America. It may have been as early as 1672. In the early 18th century, we find the first signs of an inter-congregational structure governed by elders. The father of U.S. Presbyterianism was the Rev. Francis Makemie, who came to this country from Ireland in 1683. Along with six other ministers, he organized the first Presbytery in America in Philadelphia in 1706.

In 1709, the first synod, the Synod of Philadelphia, was formed. In 1789 the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA was held in Philadelphia. The assembly adopted the standards of the church that have remained through the years, and with some modification, as the foundational expression of Presbyterian faith and policy, these standards were adopted by the reunited Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1983.

About a hundred years later, this Presbyterian-style religion advanced to the La Grange area. On June 11, 1879, seventy families voted to organized the town of La Grange on land purchased by Franklin B. Cossitt, who planned a "garden spot" village. Our roots as a village date back to 1837 when a farmer bought the land from the government.

On May 13, 1890, the "Presbyterian Society" was organized, holding afternoon services in homes. On October 27 of that year, fourteen people met to accept the charter from the Presbytery of Chicago. Services were originally held in the Music Hall on Sixth Avenue and Washington; and in 1891 a lot was purchased on Madison Street just north of Cossitt School for a Sanctuary. March 4, 1892 marked the dedication of the Sanctuary, with 27 charter members, three Elders and three Trustees.

In 1907, the land at Elm and Catherine was purchased for $2,530. The original church, patterned after a church in Wales (square tower and short spire typifying sturdy character and sincere aspirations of the Presbyterian denomination), was dedicated on March 3, 1912.

Fifty years later, the present church building and remodeled Sanctuary were dedicated; and on October 27, 1990, our church celebrated its centennial with the theme "A Century of Blessings." We have been greatly blessed and much is expected of us.