On December 30, two congregations that have called downtown Rockford home for over 150 years will merge into one.
Second Congregational United Church of Christ and First Presbyterian Church will become Second Congregational/First Presbyterian Church of Rockford. The congregation will consist of both the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The merge comes just over a year after First Presbyterian decided to sell their building, located at 406 North Main Street. Transitional Pastor Beth Wagner said, "Just as it is difficult for a family to move out of a beloved home, it is difficult for us to move out of this building. But the church is the people, not the building, and we are joyfully joining the people of Second Congregational so that together we can grow in Christ and serve in downtown Rockford."
Rev. Wagner will serve as co-pastor, along with Second Congregational's Rev. Dr. J. Michael Solberg, who said of the merging congregations, "This union demonstrates the commitment of both congregations to ministry in our downtown neighborhood, and it shows our core value of spiritual growth combined with hands on service."
The congregation of First Presbyterian will begin services at 9:30 a.m. on December 30 in their home of 105 years, but will then lead a procession to their new home with Second Congregational.
First Presbyterian's old building was recently purchased by the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, which will use the building to expand its campus.
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