During the great western push in the mid-1800s, Forreston Grove Church was founded in 1865 by German immigrants starting a new life in America. The congregation began as groups of like-minded believers meeting in homes weekly for Bible study, prayer, and hymn singing, which later developed into a German-speaking congregation that met for worship at our current location.
Forreston Grove’s first church and manse were constructed in 1866, both of small stature and resembling log cabins. Though modest, these buildings served the fledgling church well for more than 25 years, until a new, spacious building was built in 1889 for the price of $4,000. This new church building was constructed with a tall steeple reaching skyward 100 feet from the ground to the top. The church could be seen for miles around as a testimony and witness to God’s glory and grace. This church building served the congregation of Forreston Grove well for 64 years, until it was destroyed by fire in 1953. The fire also destroyed the grove of trees that served as the church’s namesake.
In 1956, our current stone church was built and dedicated. In 1976, the pastor’s home that once stood on the property was sold and moved to a new location. It was replaced by the present manse, which serves as the home of our pastor and his family.
In 1997, Forreston Grove officially joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Today, the church is made up of Christ-centered, Bible-believing congregants proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing His love to our community. We remain grateful to past generations for their faithful service and example, and we strive to carry the light of the gospel forth in our own generation.
Forreston Grove Church is a Bible-believing, evangelical, and reformed church affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Bible-believing. We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word. It is the final authority over our doctrine (what we believe) and our practice (what we do and how we live).
Evangelical. We are a gospel-driven church. This means that our faith and hope is based on the good news that Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected so that we might receive forgiveness and new life. Because this gospel changes everything, we want to intentionally share this good news with the world by our words and deeds.
Reformed. We hold to the historic Christian faith as outlined in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Simply put, we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. God rules absolutely and perfectly over all things (even when it’s hard for us to see) and is making everything new through the gospel of Jesus.
Our full statement of faith can be found in The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms.
As a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, we gladly partner with other like-minded churches throughout Illinois and the US for ministry and accountability. Founded in 1973, the PCA is a national denomination with more than 1800 congregations in all fifty states and missionaries around the globe. As one church, the PCA strives to “be faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.”
Forreston Grove is currently without a pastor, but stay tuned for updates!
Kelli Gunderson, Secretary
Kelli Gunderson has served as secretary of Forreston Grove since the summer of 2006. A lifelong Grover, she left her hometown only long enough to earn her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When she’s not fulfilling her secretarial duties, Kelli’s most often found caring for her three kids, assisting her husband with dairy farm duties, substitute teaching or bus driving. She also enjoys photography, softball, baking, horseback riding, travel, and almost any outdoor adventure!
If you would like to get in touch with Kelli, email her at [email protected].