Lake Street Church is a place where you can pursue your own spiritual journey with encouragement and support. We think it’s this encouragement and support — in the midst of different individual beliefs — that makes us unique. We are a welcoming and affirming, diverse spiritual community that offers thought-provoking worship services, a broad range of quality music performances and many opportunities for social justice. Below are links to help you discover more about Lake Street Church.
We are affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of the USA and Metro Chicago. American Baptist Churches value soul liberty and autonomy of the local congregation, and are not related to the Southern Baptist Convention of churches. Members of our congregation identify with a wide variety of faiths and denominations. Some identify themselves as American Baptists; many do not.
If you visit Lake Street Church, we would love to know about it. We encourage you to fill out a Visitor card while you’re here (found in the pews) with your contact information, interests and questions.
Visiting children are welcome to participate in Child Care or Sunday School. No prior notice is needed. Young children may be dropped off in the Nursery (0 – 2 yrs.) or Rainbow Room (3 – 4 yrs.) before the service and picked up afterward. School-aged children (K – 5th grade) attend the beginning of the service, are invited to the front of church for a 5-minute “Moment as Children,” then participate in Sunday School.
When dropping off your child for the first time, we ask that you fill out an information sheet found on the podium at the top of the stairs near the child care rooms. Not sure where the rooms are? Please ask someone for directions. Regular attendees will be happy to show you. Your children are also welcome to stay with you for the entire service if that is your preference.
After the service, everyone is invited to MacLeish Hall, the large hall adjacent to the church, for snacks and refreshments. There are special “Let’s Talk” mugs near the coffee. Using one communicates to regular attendees that you are visiting and interested in conversation.
In 2006, the Lake Street Church congregation spent almost a year working together on an identity statement we call our Covenant. It says a lot about who we are as a spiritual community. The covenant appears on the inside back cover of our hymnals. We recite it together every time we welcome new members to our congregation.
Several groups meet every Sunday before the service. Abwoon Study Circle, Jesus and His Jewish Influences, and The Teachings of Compassion: A Buddhist Perspective all meet at 9:30 a.m. Visitors are always welcome, and no prior notice is required. Please send us a message if you have questions about any of these groups.
After the service, everyone is invited to MacLeish Hall, the large hall adjacent to the church, for snacks and refreshments. Drink from our special “Let’s Talk” visitor mugs and mingle!
The Lake Street Church Choir and Crystal Ringers Tone Chime Choir both welcome visitors to “check them out” during any rehearsal. Anyone interested in singing with the choir can make a short-term commitment of a few weeks to get to know us better. Choir rehearsal is on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. For more information, send us a message.
Lake Street Church was built in 1873 and is the oldest public building still in use in Evanston. To learn more about our rich past, check out the History & Building and Historical Overview pages on our website, view our Timeline to see a visual representation of our journey, or send us a message to request a copy of the book published in honor of our 150th anniversary, “The History of Lake Street Church of Evanston: Embracing the Future and the Richness of Our Past.”
For three decades, our building has housed Connections for the Homeless and Hilda’s Place, the only overnight shelter for the homeless on the North Shore. This effort started in 1984 when First Baptist Church of Evanston (now Lake Street Church) formed a coalition of clergy and concerned residents to lobby city government for permission to establish a shelter, offering the lower level of the church house as an overnight prayer circle for the homeless. Click here to learn how to contribute food or help prepare a meal.
This committee helps us move from contemplation to action. Committee members raise awareness of local, national and international issues, providing opportunities for individuals to act together to promote peace, further economic and social justice, practice earth stewardship and alleviate hunger and homelessness. Visitors welcome. Send us a message and we’ll let you know when and where the next meeting will take place.
Lake Street Church is a very active church for its size. You can get to know us better just by browsing the list of current spiritual development opportunities. They are as diverse as the church itself. Visitors are welcome to attend all groups and programs. Please send us a message if you have any questions.