Who We Are
St. Paul’s Mission Statement
We are called to gather around the sacred story and table of Christ where all are invited to be fed and everyone’s story matters.
Our Vision Statement
We pray that our hearts may be opened to seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to be the church and the Christian community that God is calling us to be.
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The History of the Episcopal Church of St. Paul, DeKalb
The history of St. Paul’s Episcopal congregation began in the 1850s. The first church building was constructed in 1861 and the current church building is the third in the history of the parish, which was built in 1967. Cornerstones from the first two church buildings were incorporated into the new building, maintaining a symbolic tie to the previous churches and parishioners.
Our current structure was built on six acres of land purchased by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago so that the church could be near the campus of Northern Illinois University.
For a church, the architectural structure and design is unique. Some have described it as a “stylized barn, appropriate to the agricultural history of the area,” which certainly fits. Others see it as a covered bridge, with portals leading to the altar of God.
Prior to 2000, the “undercroft” or lower level, served as the meeting and social area of the church. In 2000, a fellowship hall with a full kitchen, a large, air-conditioned gathering room, a nursery, and a meeting room as well as parish offices. There is also an outdoor patio, which is often used for after service get-togethers and cookouts. We hope, in the future, to make it an internet hotspot for NIU students passing by on the “church path” connecting Normal Road with Garden Street and adjacent NIU buildings.
The renovated lower level (undercroft) was named the Saint Timothy Center for Spiritual Formation. There is a large playroom for elementary age children, too. Saint Timothy was the spiritual son of Saint Paul who continued on after Paul’s death in the work of building up the church. This name is fitting for a place where adults are passing knowledge on to our children who will continue in the work of the church for years to come. We looked at St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy for inspiration: “You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (2 Tim. 2:1-2)