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!

Our Additional Staff includes: Rev. Dr. Kimberly Lewis Davis, Rev. Margaret Ann Williams (Retired) and Minister Katherine Brock.