Celebrating 19 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

Faith, Family, and Fellowship

The Community Church of Barrington has opened a welcoming heart to all who have crossed its threshold for 175 years

Written by Barbara L. Benson

The South Church on Penny Road built in 1853 by the Congregationalists. It later burnt down.
Left: Church Historian Arnett C. Lines at the groundbreaking for the Church Educational Building on March 27, 1966. Right: Beloved Church Secretary, Millie Thorp, was a friend to all, famous for passing out a chocolate kiss to all the members after the Church’s Annual Meeting. She served for 23 years. 

When asked to write some commemorative words for the 175th Anniversary of the Community Church of Barrington, I knew that I would be on some familiar historical territory, but I did not realize how much I would touch upon my own walk with history in Barrington. Through Peer Lykke, the Church provided me with historical documents that added a completely new dimension to my own collection of Barrington history materials.

First, there is Arnett C. Lines. For those of us who have striven to continue enlightening the greater community about its history, Lines “History of Barrington” is the “bible”, with every facet of community life and the people who have woven its tapestry, recorded for posterity. Throughout his life, he wrote, made notes, collected genealogies, and above all, moved among those who, like himself, were still so close to those who had settled the area beginning in the mid-1830s.

A Historian’s Church

Little did I know that this same monumental attention to detail would be given to his own church, the Community Church of Barrington. While some records were lost in a fire an age ago, it is all there in Lines’ pages, from detailing the first gathering of the Baptists in 1847, using, as many denominations did then, a schoolhouse on Penny Road, until in 1853 they rented the South Church at Barrington Center, from the dispersing Congregationalists.

Arnett Lines documented his church through its decades as it moved to the Village of Barrington in 1859, and many of those who had pioneered settlement in the countryside came with their pastor into the new village. Here, through war and peace, through depression and pandemic, through times of loss and tragedy, and joyful gatherings, a core group of members and their pastors maintained the soundness of the church’s spiritual foundations, and until this day, the door is always open.

A Walk with History

The second surprise for me in receiving priceless documents to work with was found in the pages of “The One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Booklet” published in 1997. I first came to Barrington with the Historical Society in 1980, and back then we had a wonderful group of volunteers, many of them members of Barrington’s oldest families and oldest churches.

There smiling at me from the past is Millie Thorp, beloved in the church and the Historical Society; there is Hazel and Howard Ernst, Howie was our treasurer for many years. There are Ray and Lenore Hylander, Evah Lager, and Ethel Hanson, the biggest Chicago Cubs fan anywhere. Grace Castle, her family, pioneers of the east side of Barrington along Northwest Highway, and Jennie Lines. Yes, I did meet Jennie Lines, not long before she passed away in the home on West Lake Street that had been built by her father, Fred Lines.

Unfortunately, I never met Arnett C. Lines, brother to Jennie Lines. I am trying to think what it must have been like inside his head and his memory. Perhaps he was smart and wrote everything down immediately. Unlike this writer, who still retains a lot in her memory.

Member of the church, and to be forever entwined with my historical life, there was Ruth Ahrens Munson. She, who kept us honest, no revisionist history for Ruthie, it was what it was. Last but not least, there was Arthur L. Rice, Jr. and his wife Carol. Art would become president of the Historical Society in years when it needed a strong advocate for its work.

Connecting Past to Present

This remarkable group of “old timers” welcomed this newcomer and showed her the way around this dear old town. There were many other volunteers from other churches and organizations that supported the Historical Society as volunteers, but this 175th Anniversary of the Community Church of Barrington gives me the opportunity to say a special “thank you” to its many members who helped me walk along the paths of Barrington’s history.

Barrington is remarkable for the strengths of its faith community, not least, those of the greatest longevity and the ability to adapt to changing times. I am so pleased to share in saluting the Community Church of Barrington on its 175th Anniversary, and its own steadfast walk with Barrington’s history.

Barbara L. Benson grew up in Kent, England, and later moved to New York. She settled in Barrington and has walked with our history since she first arrived here in 1980.

This past January, CCB welcomed Reverend Christopher Shade to be its new senior pastor and its new face to the community. He follows in the footsteps of Reverend Dr. Zina Jacque, who pastored the church for 15 years, becoming a beloved community icon in the process.

Small churches like CCB face many challenges, from COVID-depleted congregations to younger generations seeking non-traditional spiritual paths. In searching for a new pastor, the church knew it needed someone who could speak to those who feel many churches are not listening to them.

Rev. Shade uses humor and art in delivering his messages, employing the skills he gained as a graduate of New York University with a degree in Theatre. He has been known to use multiple pop-culture references from Yoda to Olive Garden breadsticks to illustrate theological ideas. More importantly, his words and actions show his heart for social justice, seeking to create equity and showing the love of God to those who need it most.

During his tenure, Pastor Chris hopes to make the Community Church of Barrington just that: a church for the community. Whether neighbors attend service on a Sunday, picnic on the lawn, come to a community meeting, or join one of the Art Together classes, CCB will continue to build on its 175-year legacy as a warm, inviting. and rich environment where everyone feels safe and welcome.

A Tough Act to Follow –
A Vision for Tomorrow

Pastor Chris Shade

Founded in 1847, the Community Church of Barrington will celebrate its 175th anniversary on Sunday, September 25, 2022. The celebration’s theme will be “Your Community Church of Barrington.” Highlights will include:

  • A community Open House from Noon – 2:00 p.m., following Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.
  • Family-friendly refreshments
  • Surprise giveaways, face painting and games for the kids

We look forward to welcoming anyone and everyone interested in meeting their neighbors, visiting the church and its lovely garden, and learning all about the history of a church that first opened its Barrington Station doors in 1859. We hope to see you here at the corner of Lincoln and Grove!

It’s Our 175th Anniversary!

No matter what the quarterly financial statement bottom line, CCB donates 10% of its income to organizations serving those in need outside the church. The Missions Committee is diligent in its research as it selects charitable organizations and projects to be the recipients of CCB’s offerings. CCB’s tradition of mission work and gifts is rooted in its earliest days. Over just the past four years, it has donated nearly $90,000 to organizations as close as the Barrington Food Pantry and as far as Bright Hope in Uganda, Africa. A number of these groups have visited the church, spoken to its congregants, and touched the hearts of everyone who learns how their offerings serve the neediest and most worthy among us.

Caring and Compassion Power Mission Giving

1991–2005 —- Rev. Glenn Loafmann

2005–2007 —- Rev. Sarah Jay (Interim Pastor)

2007–2021 —- Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque

2021 —- Rev. Carol McVetty & Rev. Alissia Thompson (Interim Pastors)

2022 —- Rev. Christopher Shade


Our CCB Pastors

1983-2018 —- Cookie Walk at holiday time

1997 —- 150th Anniversary

2007 —- First African American pastor in Barrington brought to CCB

2011–2019 —- Mission Trips to Appalachia, West Virginia, Rural Ohio, and Puerto Rico

2012 —- CCB Memory Garden, Memory Bricks installed

2012–2022 —- Community Meal Site

2016 —- Discover Yoga opens at CCB

2018 —- CCB participates in bringing Rwandan refugees to US through Refugee One

2019 —- Pastor Zina Jacque and Jessica Green co-host the launch of the Courageous Conversations program

2019 —- Soul Stories Program

2020 —- First live streaming of Sunday services

2020 —- Art Together at CCB begins

Significant Dates from 1997–2022

The Peace Garden at Community Church honors the memory of our congregants who have passed from this life and celebrates life events such as weddings and anniversaries. It also draws in neighbors and others who simply enjoy a quiet place for contemplation and rest. The garden was designed by long-time church member JoAnne Jacobsen and installed in 2012. As the result of her vision and knowledge of gardening, this quiet, contemplative space features a wide variety of plants and shrubs highlighted by a path of 128 memory bricks. These bricks display prominent Barrington names such as Dockery, Lageschulte and Schroeder along with others perhaps less notable in the Village, but equally important in the life of the church.

Community Church continues to host a variety of important events in the Peace Garden. It looks forward to more visits by neighbors and residents of Barrington seeking moments of rest, perhaps recalling those who have shaped their lives just as people memorialized in the garden have affected the lives of church congregants today.

Our CCB Peace Garden

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