St. Mark Lutheran Church was founded April 16, 1961 by an offshoot of members from First Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois. The first church services were held in the school gym at Guilford Center elementary school on the corner of Mulford and Guilford Roads. On June 4, 1961 another milestone in the life of the church was reached. The congregation was officially organized and the charter was signed. The church could now conduct business and administer the sacraments. The first Holy Communion was held on the following Sunday.
In July of 1961 the purchase of the Garrett farm at the top of the hill on Mulford Road was approved as the building site. Before building could begin the old farm buildings had to be removed. Members of the congregation pitched in to help with this work and a decision was made to preserve a piece of the barn. The cross that hangs in the original sanctuary, which is now Fellowship Hall, is made from wooden beams that were once in the barn of the old Garrett farm. The ground breaking ceremony took place on April 15, 1962 and the cornerstone was laid on August 5. The first service in the new church building took place on December 16 of that year. Finally, after 20 months the congregation had a church home.
The church grew slowly but steadily, which necessitated several expansions. The first addition began in October of 1964. The educational wing was completed and formally dedicated in June of 1965. Ground breaking for the current sanctuary took place in August of 1970. In January of 1971 St. Mark Preschool opened its doors as an outreach to the community and congregation members. The preschool was a premier preschool in the area for 42 years. It closed in May 2013. On November 21, 1971 just ten years after the congregation was organized, the sanctuary was dedicated to the glory of God. In 1984-85 a new building addition provided more office space, six additional classrooms, a larger choir room and more space for the sanctuary.
St. Mark has a strong emphasis on worship, music, youth, education for all ages, spiritual formation and service to others. The church began 57 years ago to serve the area as a stepping stone to all who want to worship and serve our Lord. St. Mark has been very blessed, so lets us rejoice, give thanks and use our gifts to serve in Christ's name.
There is a place for you at St. Mark. Join us any Sunday as we celebrate Holy Communion:
Sunday School resumes for the year on September 16th at 9:30 a.m.