Church of the Three Crosses: United Church of Christ & Unted Methodist Church

Church of the Three Crosses
333 W. Wisconsin St.
Chicago, Illinois 60614
tel: 312.951.7916

Sunday Worship: 11:00 am

Our History

Church of the Three Crosses was formed in 1966 by the merger of two
early Old Town congregations dating from the 1800s which were both founded by German immigrants: Second Evangelical United Brethren Church and St. James United Church of Christ.

The Second Evangelical Church was founded in 1852. The first church building was at Chicago and Wells. In 1869, the congregation moved to the northwest corner of Wisconsin and Sedgwick where its building was twice destroyed by fire, with the final rebuilt structure dating from 1937. This congregation was affiliated with the Evangelical United Brethren denomination which later merged in 1968 with the Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church.

The St. James Church originated in 1896 as the St. James Evangelical Congregational Church. The building was located at 1718 N. North Park. In 1957, the Congregational churches in the U.S. united to form the United Church of Christ, and thus the church became the St. James United Church of Christ.

Initially, Church of the Three Crosses met in the Second Evangelical Church building. In 1973-74, the present building, with its flexible and multi-use space, was erected at the corner of Wisconsin and Orleans. In keeping with its heritage, this congregation is affiliated with both the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.

A brief history of Church of the Three Crosses as well as its two predecessor congregations was published for the 50th anniversary of the congregation in October 2016.

Download the brief history, entitled:
“Celebrating Our Heritage.” (PDF)

August 1968: Clergy carry congregation’s cross as a reconciling symbol amidst the police riot in the park during the 1968 Democratic Convention.

1974: New building of Church of the Three Crosses built on land reclaimed from the former Ogden Avenue.

Mid-1970s: Theater group enacts “Jonah and the Whale” during worship in the park amphitheater next door to the church.

May 1980: Bell from former building installed at new Church of the Three Crosses building.

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