Learn About Us

“Ebenezer, thus far has God helped us!”-Samuel 7:12

Today, Ebenezer is a thriving multiethnic and multigenerational community. Our worship of God reflects differing styles as people from different ethnicities and different languages praise God and fellowship with one another. Ebenezer continues its ministries in the entire building, new and old. Nothing will happen without the help of the Lord.

Established as the First Christian Reformed Church in July 1867, Ebenezer outgrew various locations as Dutch immigrants arrived. In 1923 the congregation purchased a spacious, old-world style church at the corner of Ashland Ave. and Hastings St. The move included a shift in the language used, changing from Dutch to English. This shift brought about the organization of several ‘daughter’ congregations.

As social conditions changed on Chicago’s Near West Side, the members moved west to Cicero, Berwyn, and Oak Park. As a result the construction of the present sanctuary started in 1947. It was at that point that the church adopted the name Ebenezer, making a statement of faith in the Lord, the Rock who had helped. 1 Samuel 7:12 reads … “Ebenezer, to this point has the Lord helped us.”

During the 1950s and 60s, Ebenezer grew significantly with members of primarily Dutch ancestry. That was to change. In a particularly turbulent time (1970’s) within neighborhoods members moved further west, which included the move and relocation of the Christian schools.

In 1987 Ebenezer was at a crossroad. As many Reformed churches closed its doors in the immediate neighborhoods, would Ebenezer do the same or would the ministries continue within a rapidly changing community? Though smaller in number the church members decided in a convincing vote to remain. It was the right decision. Ebenezer has been able to reach out to the growing number of diverse ethnic people living in the immediate neighborhood. From that point on, Ebenezer developed youth ministries, justice programs, and mentoring training opportunities. A gifted leader was added to our ministry, Kay Rops (daughter of our congregation), who is our Director of Youth Ministries and of Community Care.

We are a member of the Christian Reformed Church. Here is a link where one might find a statement of our core beliefs https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs

 

Staff

Pastor Peter Aviles

Pastor Peter (Pedro) comes to us from Trinity Christian College where he was the assistant professor of Church and Ministry Leadership (2006 to 2013). His great passion is to make the fullness of Christ known and to raise the next generation of godly leaders.  He and his wife, Diana, have three children.

Pastor Peter is a graduate of North Park Theological Seminary with a Masters in Christian Leadership and has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the PhD program of InterCultural Studies.

Pastor Peter planted a church (Grace and Peace Fellowship, CRC) in the inner city of Chicago where he was the Pastor from 1983 to 2007. During this time he became the interim principal of Humboldt Community Christian School (1988-1989). He then became a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Northeastern University (1989 to 1992). He loves teaching God’s Word and making new disciples.

Kay Rops -Director of Youth & Community Care

Kay grew up in Cicero and has been a member of Ebenezer since childhood. She’s a licensed clinical social worker, and has a deep love for her community and the children she has dedicated her life to serving. Her passion for youth began when she volunteered as a high school senior. Now, as the director of youth and community care, she not only oversees the youth ministry but also community outreach, including the food pantry, and collaboration with community resources. When not at work, Kay enjoys exploring downtown Chicago, traveling, and being with family. if you watch closely, you may see her walking around town….barefoot.


Mission

Our mission is to bring glory to our Great God who has given us the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

We have five core mission foci:

Commission is about our gospel outreach.

Celebration relates to dynamic worship and joyful service.

Commandment acknowledges our love of God expressed in passionate prayer. 

Community addresses our love for and the impact we have in the surrounding neighborhood.

Cultivation recognizes the vital place of making disciples through the Word of God.

Vision

Affirming the ministries God has given to us, we will be:

·      Multiethnic/Multigenerational in Worship

·      Multiplying Churches in the surrounding neighborhoods

·      Strategic Training Center for Missional Leaders

·      Community Development Center

·      Unifying House of Prayer

Values

We are guided in this mission to be:

  • Led by the Spirit
  • Dedicated to the Scriptures
  • Embracing Ethnic Diversity
  • Engaged in our Community
  • Passionate in Prayer
  • Committed to Leadership Development/Mentorship
  • Active in Community Collaboration