A Welcoming congregation

Our 2018 Pentecost Banner

PASTORAL LEADERSHIP - Rev. Benjamin Ledell Reynolds

Beginning in August of 2017 the congregation is being led by our Pastor, Rev. Benjamin Ledell Reynolds.  

Appointments are a wonderful opportunity for him to set aside time to be present for your needs or concerns.  If you would like to schedule an appointment with Pastor Reynolds, you are welcome to call or send an email.  The following are ways to reach him:

      773.533.4273  (leave a message)


Click here to learn more about Pastor Reynolds.

Click here for preaching at First Church

Congregational Leadership

The congregation is organized into a Servant Leadership Board, with three Committees: 

1. Congregational Life, 

2. Mission and Outreach. 

3.  Administration and Finance. 

Co-chairs provide overall leadership to the Board.  

The congregation also has appointed three Deacons, who provide Spiritual Leadership, along with the pastor.

Our Building Partners

Chicago Community Mennonite Church. a welcoming congregation that shares an Anabaptist faith and seeks to witness through word and deed to the truth revealed in Jesus' life and teaching. 

La Iglesia Cristiana Roca de Esperanza

DOOR. Our congregation houses and supports Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR). DOOR is a gateway for encountering the city through the eyes, ears, and heart of God. They are dedicated to providing life-changing experiences for participants rooted in relationship and solidarity with local communities and neighborhoods. 

Wider Connections

Our Denomination: Church of the Brethren http://www.brethren.org/
District of Illinois & Wisconsin http://www.iwdcob.org/
Bethany Theological Seminary https://bethanyseminary.edu/
Camp Emmaus www.campemmaus.org/
On Earth Peace  http://onearthpeace.org/
Christian PeaceMaker Teams  www.cpt.org/
Chicago Community Renewal Society www.communityrenewalsociety.org/ 

About First Church


Mary Scott Borea, long-time member of First Church describes her congregation this way:

Lots of folks ask me about my religion/church. We are the FIRST CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN, part of a small Christian denomination. We are one of the 4 historic peace churches in the US (along with Mennonites, Quaker and some Baptist). We are not a cult, a sect or a brotherhood. We are of Christian faith and non-violent peace persuasion. Brethren does not mean men only, or men in leadership. We have been a multi-racial church in East Garfield Park for almost 100 years.

We are an activist church, having hosted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while he lived and worked in Chicago and we have been involved in many anti-war and social justice campaigns, probably most notable is the Chicago Anti-Apartheid movement, and support for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).

When you come you will participate in a wonderful and spiritual experience of creating something beautiful. All faiths and no faiths are welcome. We will not throw Christianity (and we don’t anyway) in your face. However what we will do is open our hearts and welcome you in the spirit of love, peace, fellowship.

Please join us. Good things do happen in East Garfield Park.