In 1995, Peace Christian Reformed Church in South Holland, Illinois underwent a process of discerning where God was leading their congregation for the future. Peace had served the South Holland community for 40 years and many within the church wanted to continue serving in the community in the future. There were also many in the congregation who had moved to the rapidly growing communities in South Lake County, Indiana so there was also much interest in ministry in that area. The result of this process was a group of members who, with the blessing of the church, began a new ministry in St. John, Indiana. This ministry was the beginning of Pathway Church.
The initial planning team spent several months of organizing and praying over this new church and held its initial service on Mothers’ Day 2006 at Lincoln Elementary School. Bringing in guest pastors or the occasional video, when no pastors could be lined up, the church held services each Sunday at Lincoln Elementary and others gradually joined them from the community.
Pathway became a formal church November 14, 2010. After a few years, the young church finally hired its first pastor, Rev. Rob Knol who had a heart for church planting.
Pastor Rob led Pathway from the church plant stage to become a more mature congregation. During his ministry, several new families joined the congregation, the church found a new location for worship at Crown Point Christian School, established a church office and purchased land for a future permanent location on 109th street. Many of the church programs also developed including children’s and youth ministries, small groups and bible study groups and community outreach activities. After seven years of serving Pathway, Pastor Rob moved on to serve a church in Denver, Colorado and Pathway began to look for a new Pastor to lead the congregation to its next steps in ministry.
In December of 2014, Pastor Joel Zuidema came to Pathway and brought a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm for ministry at Pathway. This renewed energy brought some new members to the congregation as well as a desire to make a much stronger impact in the community. Out of this desire, Pathway Church is planning a “relaunch” of its ministry to take the church to the next step in growth of the congregation and impact on our community.
Pathway Church is excited about being a vibrant, growing church in a vibrant, growing community reaching out to those around us while also ministering to new and mature Christians alike. We look forward to building a permanent home and being a part of the St. John Community for many years to come. The original planning team adopted the church’s motto: “Growing God’s family by helping people take their next step with Jesus Christ”. That motto is as relevant today as it was when the church began as Pathway seeks to continue growing God’s family as it takes its next steps toward a bright future in ministry.