We are Wheaton Bible Church (WBC). Our story is God's story.
It begins with His call to a small group of people in 1929 and
continues to be expressed through our ministries today.
We love God, and we love the church He has knit us together
to be. Many of us have been here for a short time, some for generations.
Yet, spiritually, we are all part of the same family.
Like all families, we've faced our share of struggles, but
they have kept us on our knees and dependent on God. Now, as we recall
the past, we are encouraged because He is faithful and has patiently
brought us through each valley and rejoiced with us on many a mountaintop.
We hope you will be inspired by our story, the story of God
at work in and through us. He has used a variety of men and women to
shape us and a clear mission to direct us: love God, grow together and
reach the world.
Please praise Him with us as you read!
In June of 1929 a group of 160 people signed a charter to
form a new independent church called the Wheaton College
Interdenominational Church. The church met on the campus of Wheaton
College. This was just before the stock market crashed and at the front
end of the Great Depression.
In 1934 we called our first pastor, Kenneth A. Amsler. Later
we renamed the church "Wheaton Bible Church" because "(our)" faith and
practice stand on the foundation of the Bible, which is the inspired,
infallible, and inviolable Word of God." In 1935 and still during the
Depression, we purchased property at the corner of Cross and Union
Streets. Members sacrificially gave $30,000 toward the new building
while not forgetting the missionary and current expense budgets. We
dedicated our first building in March 1936. Very soon our Sunday school
rooms overflowed. People often came forward after worship services to
In 1940 we called our second pastor, J. C. Macaulay. Four
years later we started a Sunday school ministry that became Pleasant
Hill Community Church. The Christian education ministry flourished and
in 1947 a two-story education facility was added. In 1952 the church
welcomed its third pastor, Rev. Malcolm Cronk. God used Dr. Cronk's love
of the Bible to grow the congregation and start others. Members left to
start Countryside Chapel in 1955, Evangel Baptist Church in 1958, and
The Village Church of Carol Stream in 1960. By 1958 we had added a
second morning service. We continued to purchase homes around the church
and in 1960 we dedicated a new sanctuary building on the corner of Main
and Franklin Streets in Wheaton.
Dr. Richard H. Seume became our fourth senior pastor late in
1967. An excellent Bible expositor, Dr. Seume served faithfully until a
serious kidney ailment ended his ministry with us in late 1970. In 1971
the church called Rev. Christopher Lyons to serve as its fifth pastor. We
soon added an 8:15 Sunday morning service and started our Vanguard
Program for senior adults. In 1982 we completed a three-story Christian
education building. Dr. Lyons left in 1986 and in 1987 Dr. David P.
Krentel became our sixth pastor. While he was here we started a Hispanic
Sunday school class that evolved into Iglesia del Pueblo. With
the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, we also contributed
significantly to the construction of a new building for a sister church
in Deva Romania.
In 1994, we called Pastor Rob Bugh to become our seventh
senior pastor. One of the first things Pastor Rob did was to clarify the
church's mission, vision and values. Soon a contemporary service was
added. By 1997 we were offering four worship services, including a
Hispanic service. God used Pastor Rob's ministry to grow our church and
His Kingdom. There was an increased emphasis on reaching the world for
Christ. Our Hispanic ministry grew to a fully functional congregation of
more than 400. The Children's Sunday School continued to break
attendance records. Student Ministries packed out Main Street Chapel,
and we had about 20 Adult Communities. After a thorough study of future
ministry options, we took a visionary step of faith by voting to
purchase 47 acres of land for future expansion. The purchase agreement
was finalized in October 1999 and we launched our Share the Light
Capital Campaign in 2000. We made the fourth of five payments in October
God has continued to use Pastor Rob to grow our church and
Christ’s kingdom. In 2005, we launched Step Out • En Marcha, our capital
campaign, to pay for our new campus at North Avenue and Morton Road.
God moved our people to give more than $19 million in cash and
commitments. We broke ground and began construction in 2006, but more
than buildings were being built. God used this time to grow our
ministries and our faith and to unify us as a church body. In 2007, we
adopted a new mission statement: love God, grow together, and reach the
world. It almost immediately provided our ministries clarity and focus.
On July 20, 2008 we met for our first services in our new building.
Since the move, we've grown in numbers, but, more
importantly, we have a greater focus on growing as disciples of Jesus
Christ and helping others to do the same. Transformation has come as
we've provided a variety of on ramps for connecting to the church
including Begin, a four-week class that explains what we're all
about, Alpha, a 10-week exploration of Christianity and Belong, an
exploration of what it means to be a member. People have moved from
these first steps to the "next steps" of joining Adult Classes on Sunday
mornings, Community Groups, support groups, men's studies and women's studies.
Our Children's and Student Ministries clarified their
partnership with parents by providing more support for the growth of
children, teens and young adults. We are growing in our involvement and
commitment to our neighbors through our annual day of community service,
CareFest, Administer Justice, a free legal service; Puente del Pueblo,
an outreach to the community in West Chicago; refugee resettlement
assistance and many other paths that create relationships by which we
may share the Gospel.
We continue to support about 100 missionaries in almost 50
countries. Our Heart for AIDS Initiative is making a difference in Kenya
and our MOVE Initiative has sent its first team to serve
immigrants in France.