Final Steps for Aldersgate-Gary Merger
Aldersgate and Gary United Methodist Church of Wheaton, IL voted in February 2023 to merge our congregations to do God’s work together, centering ourselves at the Gary location and selling the Aldersgate property. The last worship in the Aldersgate building and the first worship as a merged congregation occurred in May, the big move was in June, and the Wheaton Park District Board authorized the purchase of the Aldersgate property in August. The transfer of property ownership is expected before year’s end. This will then allow the final legal steps to officially merge the congregations into one legal entity.
Even as the property and legal actions took their
time, the people and ministries from the two separate congregations have been
coming together during the year. We Are One in so many blessed ways —
enlivened worship, music, and preaching, broadened studies and missions and new welcome and mission statements.
As the sale of the Aldersgate property is completed, the proceeds will NOT become part of our operating budget, in accordance with United Methodist Church regulations. Capital proceeds can only be used for capital needs, so the sale proceeds will be put into Gary UMC accounts for future capital expenses related to our facility. Your continued regular support of our operating budget will ensure that our newly merged congregation can fulfill our mission through Christ to grow in joyful faith and serve all in love.
A Brief History of Aldersgate United Methodist Church
In 1958, members of Gary Methodist Church in Wheaton answered the call of their bishop to start a new congregation south of downtown. These members began meeting in homes, then a local Masonic Lodge, before finally constructing a new church building on about 10 acres of farmland along South Blanchard Road.
When completed in 1961, the church retained the old farmhouse as the parsonage and the existing barn for storing old pews that were later installed in the chapel. In 1968, the congregation added an extension with a pastor’s study, church office and classrooms.
By the late 1980s a growing congregation voted to incorporate into the City of Wheaton and began remodeling the lower level to provide an art room and three additional classrooms. In 1991, the congregation built a new handicap accessible wing which included a commercial kitchen and a new fellowship hall with several multipurpose rooms that later facilitated a Parents’ Day Out program, weekly tutoring and dining programs.
Over the years, Aldersgate also hosted multiple worship communities and a Boy Scout troop. This legacy of community engagement and service will continue as the faithful members bring their gifts, resources and presence to Gary Memorial UMC.