The Presbyterian Church of Western Springs was founded in the spring of 1955 when four couples met with the Presbytery of Chicago’s Church Extension Board for the purpose of starting a new congregation in Western Springs. On September 11, 1955, Warren Graham, a McCormick Theological Seminary student, and a founding group held their first worship service at the Forest Hills Elementary School. On December 18, 1955, the Presbytery of Chicago formally chartered the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs with 67 members and a Sunday School of 56 students. A congregation was born!
Construction of the church building began in 1959 and the first building was completed in the spring of 1960. To support our longstanding commitment to Christian education for all ages, an addition was completed in 1999 to provide more space to serve the needs of the congregation. Since its founding, ministry and mission have been at the heart of this vital community of faith.
In its history, The Presbyterian Church of Western Springs has been led by four senior pastors, the Reverend Warren E. Graham (1955-1970), the Reverend David Bebb Jones (1970-2000), and the Reverend Jennifer Burns Lewis (2003-2016), and the Rev. Erik Khoobyarian (2018-2022). PCWS has been served by six associate pastors, the Reverend Mark L. Gauen (1986-1991), the Reverend Karen Cobb Cadman (1991-1995), the Reverend Jennifer S. Parker (1996-1998), the Reverend Thomas A. Brown (1999-2012), the Reverend Matthew P. Schmidt (2014 – 2016), and Lottie MacAulay Friedman (2020 -2021).
Throughout its history, the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs has maintained a commitment to serving the needs of its congregation and the community. An addition to the building in 1999 brought greater accessibility and increased classroom space. Through pastoral care, programs, and a deep commitment to mission beyond our walls we continue to serve with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.
PCWS is a welcoming, intergenerational and mission-focused community seeking to reflect God’s, inclusive love. We are a vibrant, joyful congregation of people of all ages. We have members from all over the Western Suburbs of Chicago and visitors are always welcome.