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“Ebenezer, thus far has God helped us!” 1st Samuel 7:12

Today, Ebenezer is a thriving multi-ethnic and multi-generational community. Our different worship styles reflect our distinctive ethnicities and languages, but we praise the same God and enjoy fellowship together as one Church. Ebenezer continues its ministries in the entire building, new and old. Nothing will happen without the help of the Lord.

Established as the First Christian Reformed Church in July 1867, Ebenezer outgrew various locations as Dutch immigrants arrived. In 1923 the congregation purchased a spacious, old-world style church at the corner of Ashland Ave. and Hastings St. The move included a shift in the language used, changing from Dutch to English. This shift brought about the organization of several “daughter” congregations.

As social conditions changed on Chicago’s Near West Side, the members moved west to Cicero, Berwyn, and Oak Park. The construction of the present sanctuary started in 1947. It was at that point that the church adopted the name Ebenezer, making a statement of faith in the Lord, the Rock, who had helped. 1 Samuel 7:12 reads, “Ebenezer, to this point has the Lord helped us.”

During the 1950s and ’60s, Ebenezer grew significantly with members of primarily Dutch ancestry. That was to change. In a particularly turbulent time (1970’s) within neighborhoods, Christian reformed churches continued to move farther west, taking the Christian schools with them.

In 1987 Ebenezer was at a crossroad. As many Reformed churches closed their doors in the immediate neighborhoods, would Ebenezer do the same or would the ministries continue within a rapidly changing community? Though smaller in number, the church members decided in a convincing vote to remain. We firmly believe the members made the right decision. Ebenezer has been able to reach out to the growing number of diverse ethnic people living in the immediate neighborhood. From that point on, Ebenezer developed youth ministries, justice programs, and mentor training opportunities. A gifted leader was added to our ministry, Kay Rops (daughter of our congregation), who is our Director of Youth Ministries and of Community Care.

In recent years, we have sought to expand our ministry to the Latino community in Berwyn and the surrounding cities. We brought on a Spanish Ministry Intern, Jonatan Azpilcueta, in 2019 to help us focus on beginning a Spanish service in order to provide our Latino brothers and sisters with a time to worship God in their native language. On December 22, 2019, Ebenezer celebrated its first-ever Spanish language service—just shy of 100 years after its first English service in 1923! We now hold Spanish services every Sunday at 12:30pm and a Spanish devotional group every Tuesday evening.

We are a member of the Christian Reformed Church. Click here to view a statement of the CRC’s core beliefs: https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs


Kay Rops

Director of Youth & Community Care

Kay grew up in Cicero and has been a member of Ebenezer since childhood. She’s a licensed clinical social worker and has a deep love for her community and the children she has dedicated her life to serving. Her passion for youth began when she volunteered as a high school senior. Now, as the Director of Youth Ministries and of Community Care, she not only oversees the youth ministry but also community outreach, including the food pantry, and collaboration with community resources. When not at work, Kay enjoys exploring downtown Chicago, traveling, and being with family. If you watch closely, you may see her walking around town . . . barefoot.


Our mission is to bring glory to our Great God who has given us the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

We have five core mission foci:

  • Commission is about our gospel outreach.
  • Celebration relates to dynamic worship and joyful service.
  • Commandment acknowledges our love of God expressed in passionate prayer.
  • Community addresses our love for and the impact we have in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Cultivation recognizes the vital place of making disciples through the Word of God.


Affirming the ministries God has given to us, we will be:

  • Multiethnic/Multigenerational in Worship
  • Multiplying Churches in the surrounding neighborhoods
  • A strategic Training Center for Missional Leaders
  • A community Development Center
  • A unifying House of Prayer


We are guided in this mission to be:

  • Led by the Spirit
  • Dedicated to the Scriptures
  • Embracing Ethnic Diversity
  • Engaged in our Community
  • Passionate in Prayer
  • Committed to Leadership Development/Mentorship
  • Active in Community Collaboration