On March 4, 1930 the Illinois Council of Churches was established during an Illinois Convocation of Ministers convened by the Midwest Committee of the Federal Council of Churches and the Springfield Council of Churches. The birth of the Illinois Council of Churches reflected the ecumenical fervor of the 20th century in the United States that witnessed the creation of state, regional, and local councils of churches. This historic act by the churches to create a state ecumenical body was rooted in a theological vision embodied in the founding constitutional document in affirming that “the time has come when it seems fitting more fully to manifest the essential oneness of the Christian churches of Illinois in Jesus Christ as their Divine Lord and Savior, and to promote the spirit of fellowship, service, and cooperation among them.”
The ecumenical movement reached a memorable milestone beyond Protestant circles at the Vatican II Council in the early 1960’s. The yearning for Christian unity, to restore broken relationships with the Christian community became the catalyst within the Catholic Church for church reforms and initiatives for reconciliation to heal the wounds of division within the one Body of Christ. One of the fruits of Vatican II was the growing participation of Catholic Diocese in state and local ecumenical organizations.
In Illinois, negotiations between the Protestant members of the ICC and the Catholic Church resulted in the formation of the Illinois Conference of Churches in 1972. Under a new Constitution and By-laws, the ICC marked the beginning of the new ecumenical journey that extended beyond the Protestant churches to include the Catholic Church. In the 1990’s, the ecumenical table was extended again as the ICC welcomed into membership churches from the Orthodox tradition.
Any denomination, individual church or congregation, organization or person who agrees with our mission statement, is welcome to become an ecumenical partner of the ICC – please see the News page for details.
- African Methodist Episcopal
- African Methodist Episcopal Zion
- American Baptist – USA
- Catholic Church
- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Church of the Brethren
- Evangelical Lutheran
- Greek Orthodox
- Presbyterian USA
- Religious Society of Friends
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist