Who We Are
The Church-in-the-Gardens is a Community Congregational Christian Church whose cornerstone is the Lord Jesus Christ. As recipients of God’s redeeming love in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to:
•Bear Witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying action in the world
•Nurture each person in the Christian faith, and
•Affirm the worth and dignity of each individual.
Therefore, we covenant to uphold each person in his or her walk in Christ and to do deeds of faithful ministry in the world. We do all in thankful celebration of the love of Jesus Christ.
“I hope its doors will always be open to everyone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and wishes to do His will.”
So wrote Mrs. Russell Sage in a letter to the Church-in-the-Gardens’ Pastor; Dr. Robert J. Kent in 1913. In the spirit of her words, our Church was born.
So much of our church’s history is intertwined with the history of its surrounding neighborhood, Forest Hills Gardens. During the beginning of the 20th century Mrs. Russell Sage was approached by visionaries such as Clarence Perry to finance the building of a planned neighborhood for people from different class levels as well as denominations.
Hence Forest Hills Gardens was created. Shortly afterwards, many of its new homeowners indicated their desire to have a church started which would reflect their religious beliefs.
But what kind of church could incorporate people from differing religious backgrounds?
The fledgling congregation, even before it had a name, commissioned five members from five different denominational backgrounds to meet and dream together. They proposed a simple charter and faith statement to the whole congregation, and after polling each person involved, decided our church would be a Congregational church, so people from various denominations would be welcomed.
They wanted a church that would fellowship with other churches yet remain totally independent of external control. Instead, the new church would be self governing and issue its own statement of faith.
Rev. C. Ronald Wilson
What Members SayAdd your voice
JackieI have been a member for a little over two years now and have found it to be a sanctuary that offers me the opportunity to grow my relationship with God. Rev. Vanek is a patient and kind pastor who has offered me a listening ear on more than one occasion. His sermons are meaningful and thought provoking. I have met some very nice people here. I highly recommend you check it out. I truly feel God's love here.
PaulineI have been a member at Church-In-The-Gardens for over 25 years. I love the church and the people in it. The common thread we all have is Christian acceptance of all who believe in God, and true respect of each other's spiritual walk, though it be independent of our own. The fellowship in the church is alive and well and we welcome new visitors/members. The Sunday School initially drew me to the church; I have served on many boards and in many roles--I presently sing in the choir and love our musical program. I would encourage all who strive to follow Christ's commandment "Love one another" to come and be a part of us.
JoanI've been a member for about seven or eight years now. It's a great church - always something going on. The people are lovely, kind, and helpful. I love our choir and our musical director, David Schober. Events always feature food, food, glorious food!!Cheers to the Women's Guild who provide a $5.00 lunch every Wednesday during Lent after the 12 noon service. Cheers to the Prayer group, to the Bible Study group, to the Sunday school leaders and to our patient minister, Noel Vanek. Joan Barnes
JackA true community church, it's history intertwined with the history of Forest Hills Gardens having been founded three years after the Gardens was created. But filled with people from all walks of life, very diverse, with great fellowship opportunities. They always welcome new people. It's a beautiful sanctuary but it's not filled with stuffy people.