About Kenilworth Union Church : History

Kenilworth Union Church traces its roots back to the original plan of Joseph Sears for the new village of Kenilworth. Over a century ago in 1892, Kenilworth was an open land area with fewer than 300 residents. The organizing vision for the church then as now was to be a faith home that welcomes persons and families of all religious backgrounds. Kenilworth Union was founded on the principle of a community of faith that would come together in a unity of spirit to worship and serve the God we know in Jesus Christ. As such, Kenilworth Union has the distinction of being the oldest non-denominational church in the United States and an early pioneer in the ecumenical movement.

Kenilworth Union is an inclusive church community whose identity is formed by its devotion to God, inspiring worship, and commitment to nurturing our children in faith. While independent of any particular denomination, the church does not see itself as separate and apart from the wider Christian community. We understand ourselves to be part of the network of Christian churches across the North Shore area. Kenilworth Union actively supports a variety of denominational and ecumenical programs, especially mission efforts.

From its very beginnings up to today, the members of Kenilworth Union Church seek to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.” We are a growing, vital community of faith that walks together in faith, teaching and supporting one another, reaching out in Christ’s name to the world beyond our doors.

We are a worshipping community that has a strong music program – over 200 children, youth and adults are part of our choirs. We are a nurturing community that has a large, exciting Sunday school program for children and youth – 250 teachers and senior high assistants teach and sing and pray together with our children. We are a learning community that has Bible studies and discussions that address current issues in the context of faith. We are a serving community that reaches out to those in need in our church community, the greater Chicago community and world at large.