St. Paul’s History

St Paul1950’s

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church originated in 1955, when a small group of area Episcopalians petitioned the Bishop of Chicago to start a mission in the city of McHenry. The request was granted and the first service of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was held on January 15, 1956 in a small schoolhouse on Waukegan Road. Officiating was Rev. W. C Klein. In its early years, the church met in local schools and members’ homes.

In 1957, the Diocese purchased 5-1/2 acres in a growing area on the south side of McHenry. A two-story building was erected and ultimately dedicated on April 16, 1958. The ground floor contained a Sanctuary seating 110 people, while the upper floor had classrooms, a kitchen and an organ and choir loft.


In 1975, the congregation decided to expand the church by building a 130-seat Sanctuary immediately adjacent and joined to the existing church building. At that time, two acres were sold to help finance the construction. The new Sanctuary was dedicated in 1976.


In 1982, St. Paul’s Church was one of the first churches in the Chicago Diocese to implement the “Search and Call” process. In addition, when Marion Mailey was called as our rector in 1983, she became the first female rector in the Diocese of Chicago.

In 1983, a Columbarium was built immediately to the north of the current Sanctuary. Its beautiful garden setting provides a contemplative environment for remembering loved ones.

At the annual congregational meeting in 1983, church members decided to petition the Bishop for parish status. This was granted at the Annual Diocesan Convention in 1983.


As the church continued to grow, further expansion was needed. In 1996, the congregation began work on a 3,000 sq. ft. Fellowship Hall and kitchen, as well as an administration wing. Once again, the addition was contiguous to the existing facilities.


In 2007, we began our Little Cherubs Preschool.

The St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership, begun in 2009, has taken on national interest, and our blueprint is being put to use across the country. It is now known as the Diaper Bank of Northern Illinois.

Most recently we have partnered with Transitional Living Services to create Betts’ Place. Property and buildings that were bequeathed to St. Paul’s are now home to veterans who are working toward transitioning into civilian life.

Our current facilities include the original church building, which has offices and classrooms on the ground floor and, until recently, the second floor housed our “Little Cherubs” preschool. We do not have a rectory. Our excellent physical plant provides a strong base from which to build our church as we continue to seek ways to reach out to those around us and draw them to the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.