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!