Mega Churches – Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago, South Barrington, Illinois


Willow Creek Community Church (or simply Willow Creek Church) is a Non-Denominational, Multi-Generational Evangelical Christian Mega Church located in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Illinois. Willow Creek Community Church started when Bill Hybels and Dave Holmbo  were inspired by the success of the South Park Church’s Youth Ministry, of which they were both leaders (Dave had invited Bill to work with him a few years earlier), and aspired to start a church that used relevant biblical teaching, music, and drama. On October 12, 1975, the church met for the first time, renting Willow Creek Theater in Palatine, Illinois. In 1977, the church purchased 90 acres (360,000 m2) in South Barrington to build its own building. The first service was held in the new building in February 1981. Since then, the building has been doubled in size and the property expanded to 155 acres (0.63 km2). The changes included a new Worship Center with more than 7,000 seats, which replaces the 4,500-seat Lakeside Auditorium. There are now ministries designed to serve a variety of needs for different age and people groups. The Willow Creek Community Church has three weekend services averaging 24,000 attendees, making it the third-largest church in the United States(this ranking includes multi-site churches). Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Illinois, recently opened a brand new $73 million church seating 7,200 congregants. Services at Willow Creek cover a wide variety of program material, ranging from preaching, live drama, or acoustic guitar on up to a rock band, pop band with a horn section, or full 60- to 70-piece orchestra.

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