The History of Maple Park United Methodist Church
Maple Park United Methodist Church was organized by the Board of Mission of the Rock River Annual Conference under the leadership of Rev. Felton E. May and 15 other pioneers for Christ in September, 1963. Initially, church services were held at John Whistler Elementary School and shortly after, Thomas J. Higgins Elementary School.
The chartering service for the new congregation was held in September of 1963, at John Whistler Elementary School. The chartering service was led by Bishop Charles W. Brashares, Episcopal leader of the Rock River Conference for Northern Illinois of the Methodist Church and Bishop Matthew Clair, Episcopal leader of the St. Louis Area of the Central Jurisdiction. Bishop Clair was also a member of the Rock River Conference Board of Mission. Rev. Felton E. May became the pastor of Maple Park United Methodist Church in September of 1963. He later became Bishop Felton E. May and has gone on to glory to be with the Lord.
The congregation started with 15 pioneers in addition to 20 young people. Soon, thereafter, a Building Committee was formed and a plan for constructing the first church building began. The land was located between Elizabeth and Racine at 117th Street. In October of 1966, the first building of three planned units was completed. The congregation moved into a new church building on October 31, 1966, with 70 families and 240 registered church school students.
After several years, the “Rise Up and Build” initiative became a reality. In 1993, a new state of the art structure was completed to include worship, programming, and fellowship space.
The Pastors of Maple Park United Methodist Church
- Bishop Felton E. May 1963-1968
- Reverend William T. Carter 1968-1971
- Reverend Aaron Johnson 1972-1974
- Reverend John Francisco 1974-1976
- Reverend Richard D. Wynn 1976-1979
- Reverend Herbert White 1979-1981
- Reverend Frederick L. Cole 1981-1988
- Reverend Albert M. Shears 1988-1998
- Reverend Dr. Larry D. Pickens 1998-2001
- Reverend C. Kay Turner 2001-2002
- Reverend Carolyn Stokes Lambert 2002-2006
- Reverend Dr. Felicia Howell LaBoy 2006-2012
- Reverend Robert E. Biekman 2012-2019
- Reverend Dr. Janette C. Wilson 2020 *We welcome our new Pastor!*