And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Faith Community Presbyterian Church can trace its roots to a Chicago coffee shop near the Lawson YMCA on Chicago Ave. in the 1940's. From the beginning, it has been a gathering of mostly Filipino families striving to provide spiritual fellowship and base for new immigrants in the city.
The Growing Edge
In the 1950's the Bible study group became a full-fledged church. The Filipino American Interdenominational was led by the Rev. Bienvenido Tolentino. Membership grew over the years.
In 1965 the founding pastor was followed by his nephew, the Rev. Teofilo Tolentino. Under his leadership, the church now named, Filipino Community Church, continued to grow. Needing more room, the church moved twice in 1969. First to the chapel of a Methodist church, then nested at Third Presbyterian Church on Hoyne Street. As the community continued to grow the church moved to Irving Park Presbyterian Church on the north side of Chicago in 1971.
Presbyterian Church USA
In 1975 the congregation took a major step and affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church. Newly banded as the Filipino Community United Presbyterian Church, the congregation moved to a church building owned by the Presbyterians in Forest Park, IL.
With the creation of the Presbyterian Church USA, the congregation changed its name to Filipino Community Presbyterian Church. The name reflects two important aspects of the congregation that remains true today. First, the majority of the members are either Filipino immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Second, it truly is a "community" church as its members come from the scattered suburbs and neighborhoods of Chicago.
Significant to the story of the church has been the leadership and ministry of women within the congregation. Women have served as elders, deacons, and moderators of committees. They are very active in the work of both the Chicago Presbytery and the Synod of Lincoln Trails.
Theofilo Tolentino Scholarship
The Rev. Teofilo Tolentino retired in 1992 after 25 years of faithful service. In recognition of his ministry, the Teofilo Tolentino Scholarship Fund was established for students preparing for ministry at Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines.
In 1999 the church relocated to its present home at 3900 North Plainfield Ave. Chicago, IL. The move and key leadership provided rejuvenation and growth for the congregation.
In the early 2000's, it was recognized and honored by the Presbytery for its redevelopment efforts. In 2003 the name was modified to its current moniker, Faith Community Presbyterian Church. This was an intentional effort to recognize the racial and ethnic diversity of the congregation.
The last half of the first decade of the new century provided some important milestones for the congregation:
A scholarship fund for higher education was established in 2006 for college students.
From 2006-2009 the church was selected as one of the Field Education sites for McCormick Theological Seminary.
Mission trip in 2007 to the Philippines.
The Rev. Julius Montero served as pastor from 1999 to 2009.
At present, the Rev. John Bonsue Chu has been shepherding the congregation since 2012.
TOP IMAGE: RAMBU URSOS