It was a passion for sharing Christ with the people of West Chicago that led Trinity Church in Wheaton to found a mission congregation on Palm Sunday 1954. Our first services were held at the old American Legion Hall on Main Street, under the leadership of the Rev. Richard Winkler, who, ten years later, would become a significant figure in the renewal movement within the Episcopal Church. Within ten years, Resurrection had our own building at the corner of Route 59 and Gary's Mill Road.
By the 1980s, however, the church was on the brink of closure. The Rev. William Beasley, fresh from mission work in Costa Rica and a ministry with Latino congregations in the Episcopal Diocese in Chicago, was dispatched in February of 1987 in a final effort to revive the struggling congregation.
The small church had already, by 1986, begun to be "discovered" by a generation of evangelical Wheaton College students influenced by liturgical renewal, and under Rev. Beasley's vision and obedience to the movement of the Spirit, the congregation grew exponentially. Before long, two services were needed.
In October of 1990, the church finally reached a size that could become a self-sustaining parish. The very same month that Church of the Resurrection moved from mission status to become a parish, we also began celebrating our Sunday services at the West Chicago High School auditorium and then later at Edman Chapel on the campus of Wheaton College. This then-radical step launched the church into a new era of expanded worship and outreach. Many new parishioners came to be part of a place that sought to offer healing, especially for the sexually wounded and struggling.
Because of this calling to be a place of healing, in 1993 Church of the Resurrection disassociated from Episcopal Church in the U.S.A whose more liberal stance seemed to us a contradiction of Scripture and a denial of the work of the Holy Spirit in this church.
The church began to grow, but without a bishop to help us navigate these years, we experienced significant growing pains and struggles in the late 1990s, including two painful church splits. Though the church has experienced reconciliation with those involved, this period taught us to listen more patiently and humbly to the Lord in the midst of crisis.
Having been used of the Lord to save Resurrection from closing, the Rev. William Beasley left in 1998 to found a sister church, Church of the Redeemer of Glenview, Illinois. The Rev. Stewart Ruch III, who had come to Church of the Resurrection on Palm Sunday in 1988 was made rector in January of 1999.
One year later, the Anglican Archbishops of Rwanda and South East Asia, responding to the growing crisis of faith and leadership within the Episcopal Church, consecrated "missionary bishops" to go back in the United States as the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).Church of the Resurrection formally joined this movement in June of 2000. As such, we rejoined the worldwide Anglican Communion, under the direct oversight of Bishop Alexander "Sandy" Greene.
In 2009, Fr. Stewart participated as a delegate of AMiA in the Inaugural Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The ACNA unites Anglicans across the continent in a network of dioceses and provides oversight and leadership for the North American church. In 2012, Resurrection became a part of the Anglican Church in North America and is working with many other midwestern churches to form a midwest diocese.