- What We Believe
- Purpose & Vision
- Our Story
- The Sanctuary
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible, authoritative Word of God, and our rule for faith and practice.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that the salvation of lost and sinful man is only by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of eternal punishment.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We believe that Christ commanded two ordinances to be observed by the Church until Christ returns: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both open to all believers.
- We believe there are infinite resources in Jesus Christ to heal physically and emotionally, so we affirm God’s healing grace.
The purpose of Christ Community Church is to make known and promote the worship of God in obedience to the Great Commission and the Great Commandments. The vision is the Church’s purpose seen through the lenses of a local congregation’s unique personality, circumstances and values. It answers the question “How will it look for us to fulfill the purpose of the church in this place over the next several years?” At Christ Community Church, we believe that our purpose can be summed up into five vision statements:
Reverent Affection for God:
We envision well-conceived, Spirit-filled corporate worship marked by reverent affection for the living God.
A Center for the Arts:
We see our church as a center for the arts, enriching the wider body of Christ through God glorifying music and drama.
Strategic Investment in Disciple-Making:
We see eager people strategically investing a steady stream of resources into making disciples wherever we’re positioned to make a difference.
Christian Minds in the Making:
We see a preaching, teaching, reading, learning church–Christian minds in the making.
The Welcoming Love of God:
We see open hearts and open arms extending, to members and guests alike, the welcoming love of God in our multi-ethnic community.
This vision statement grew in the heart of Senior Pastor Ken Langley for two years. It was shaped by the Program Staff and Missions Committee, and was adopted by the Board of Elders on August 24, 1999.
Our church’s colorful history contains some good and some not so good. But none of it’s boring! Today we look like most other Bible-believing evangelical churches. But we started as an unusual experiment at the turn of the twentieth century. In the late 1800s, John Alexander Dowie, a Scottish minister, envisioned a “city of God,” where social, industrial, commercial, educational, political and religious principles of the Kingdom of God would be put into practice. In the middle of this city would be the Christian Catholic Church (now Christ Community Church).
The church was formally organized on February 22, 1896 in Chicago, and in 1899, Dowie announced that he’d purchased six thousand acres which were to become the City of Zion (incorporated July 15, 1901). Sure enough, the centerpiece of the city was the church, built to accommodate 8,000 people.
Dowie’s unusual ministry (he was an energetic, visionary leader who prayed for healing – and saw healing – for thousands) attracted people from all over the world. They came to be part of what God was doing in Zion – both the church and the city, which in those early days were inextricably related.
After Dowie’s death, Zion suffered financially for some of its leader’s mistakes. Utopian dreams had to be scaled back to match reality. But the church continued a tradition of innovative thinking. Under Wilbur Voliva, Dowie’s successor, the Zion Passion Play and Zion Conservatory of Music were created. Under Michael Mintern, the next pastor (then called “overseer”), Camp Zion was developed in Door County, Wisconsin. Carl Lee led the church into rebuilding after fire destroyed its worship space. During Roger Ottersen’s tenure, the church revived a significant work begun in the early 1900s among millions of southern Africans who trace their spiritual roots to Zion.
During the interim between Ottersen and current Senior Pastor Ken Langley, our name was changed to Christ Community Church. “Christian Catholic Church” still serves as the name for our world-wide fellowship of congregations and mission works.
The first Sunday service in our current sanctuary was held on November 5, 1961. Here are some background facts:
For twenty years, CCC worshipped in the 2,000 seat Zion Auditorium adjoining the college building. On April 11, 1959, this church home was destroyed by fire. For two years the congregation worshipped in the gym of Zion-Benton Township High School, and the Passion Play continued in the West Campus Auditorium in Waukegan.
Soon after this fire, architect Edgar Firant of Grand Rapids was commissioned to design the new sanctuary, to be built on the spot that John Alexander Dowie had designated sixty years before as the temple site. With ground breaking on April 24, 1960, keen interest developed as the triangular base took form and the gothic arches were put in place. The chancel arch soared over 60 feet in height, while the narthex arch, spanned 140 feet. The chancel window was soon put in place with more than 900 pieces of beautiful, colored antique glass being set into a filigree pattern. Each 2-1/2 by 4 feet block of the window weighs about 800 pounds.
The architect consulted with church leaders to ensure the building’s design said something about CCC beliefs. For example:
- The brass doors recall the brazen basin at the entrance to Solomons temple.
- The wave pattern on the doors suggests the waters of baptism.
- The sanctuary’s floor plan and nave are triangular, representing the Trinity.
- Seven steps lead to the nave – four for the four gospels and three for the Trinity.