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It was in the year 1924 that the vision of the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church began. An elderly grandma traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend the General Conference Session and talk of starting a church in Waukegan, Illinois.  


Meetings were conducted, people baptized and on January 27, 1927 the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized. Services were conducted in various homes, hotels, and rented buildings.  


In 1932, the O. C. Durham family joined the Waukegan congregation.  Elder Durham served as the spiritual leader for about one quarter of a century.


Evangelistic series were continually conducted.  In 1935 and again in 1939 meetings were held at the Karcher Hotel, in 1945 in Zion, IL, and in 1952 at the Masonic Temple in Waukegan, IL. The congregation met at the Masonic Temple from 1944 until 1957.  

For many years the people desired a church home of their very own. On April 19, 1956 the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church took place at 1300 North Avenue, Waukegan, Illinois. The 101 members began conducting services in the newly erected basement in April 1957. On May 14, 1957 the cornerstone was laid. Our church school began in the church building in the Fall of 1957. It was with great joy that the congregation of the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church dedicated the church at the corners of North and Glen Flora Avenues during the weekend of October 9 and 10, 1959. 


As the Waukegan congregation was committed to Christian education for their children and wanted to build our school in the country, it was in 1962 that nine acres of land was purchased at the corner of Fuller Road and Stearns School Road in Gurnee, Illinois. Our Illinois Conference allowed us to begin building approximately two-thirds of our original plans with the gym to be constructed at a later date. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 24, 1966 and the building program began. In September 1969 the new school building was opened for students. On January 23, 1977 the school building was dedicated. The Little Lamb Christian Preschool began and it was dedicated in August 1987. Due to the expansion of preschool enrollment a modular was dedicated in 1994.


Time moves on and it was voted to sell the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church and build in Gurnee on the school property. It was sold to the Waukegan SDA Spanish Church in May 2002. 



The name of the Waukegan Seventh-day Adventist Church was then changed to the Gurnee Seventh-day Adventist Church. As of June 16, 2003 the Gurnee Village Board annexed our school property into the Village of Gurnee. We entered into a building program and on December 13, 2008 we conducted our first church service in our new environment. Plans continue for the church and school and preschool to best utilize the building for doing the Lord’s work as we continue in faith until his glorious return!


Yes, the Gurnee (formerly Waukegan) church history spans back to the Depression era. Many have passed through the doors bestowing upon us a rich spiritual heritage! Prayer and faith continues to be the foundation of our church and school and love the mortar that binds our hearts together as we work together until He comes to take us home forevermore. Amen!

Pastors that have served this congregation:


Pastor Maurice Bailey

Pastor John Osborne

Pastor Willard Dessain

Dr. Glen Mallard

Pastor C. B. Miller

Pastor John Caslow

Pastor H. E. Greene 

Pastor Harold Williams

Pastor Clarence Gruesbeck

Pastor Ben Green

Pastor Paul Muffo

Pastor Vernon Heglund

Pastor John Holstein

Pastor Daniel Schiffbauer

Pastor Eugene Taylor

Pastor Jerry Coyle

Pastor Milton Fish

Pastor David Hakes

Pastor Chris Holland

Pastor Lee Grady (interim)

Pastor Dan Pabon

Pastor Edye Campos [Current]

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