The history of Christ Church Unity of Rockford begins in 1927, when the church was called “First Center of Practical Christianity of Rockford.” Meetings were held at the Layfayette Hotel in downtown Rockford, led by the first minister, Garnett January. Early leaders of the church included Mae Lundahl, Rev. Hoshour and Bonnie Brown.
- The church became “Christ Church Unity of Rockford” in 1947.
- Eric Butterworth was a minister at our church for one year (1947-48).
- Bernice Biggers led the church from 1948-1960.
- Other leaders of our church over the next decades included Chase Willett, Terry Havens, Frank Hansen, Rudy Leidig, Chris Chenoweth, George Stone, Marion Davis, Bill Hazen and Alex Starr.
- Glennie Smith became our Spiritual Leader in 2009. She retired in February 2015.
- We are currently seeking a new minister/Spiritual Leader. See “Church Leadership” for details!
Christ Church Unity of Rockford has had many homes. Over the years, we’ve met at the Lafayette, The Empire Building, The Masonic Temple, 115 Regan Street. In 1970, the church moved to its next location at 515 N. Main Street. In 1992, the congregation met at Ken-Rock Community Center. In the late 1990’s, the congregants purchased a plot of land and built the church which serves as our current location, 4381 Manchester Drive, Rockford, IL.
Christ Church Unity of Rockford is affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches International, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, Missouri. Unity was founded over 100 years ago by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore following dynamic healings of their own physical health through the application of the Jesus Christ teachings. Other than the Bible, the primary Unity text is a book called “Lessons In Truth” by Emilie Cady who had been a student of Emma Curtis Hopkins. Cady was inspired by Biblical teachings and influenced by the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson; she was also a contemporary of Emmet Fox and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Dr. Ernest Holmes, and other great minds of early 1900’s during the awakening of a new understanding of Oneness with God and our relationship with Christ Jesus. This work, including the Unity movement, culminated in what is known as “New Thought.” Unity publishes “Unity Magazine” established in 1889. Its prayer ministry, “Silent Unity” has been answering prayer requests from around the world since 1890, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information on the Unity Churches around the world, visit www.unity.org.