Christian Life Church began its life and ministry on New Year’s Day of January 1976 as a northwest suburban outpost ministry for Chicago’s historic Philadelphia Church. Rev. Daryl R. Merrill, along with his wife and young family, answered God’s call to “The Little White Church” in suburban Des Plaines, Illinois, where the new congregation got its start.
As its name implies, *“The Little White Church”* was a small white edifice of the classic “country church” style, similar to thousands of rural churches throughout America. *Christian Assembly*, as the congregation was then known, grew quickly, and in less than two years, the church leadership realized that another site was needed to better accommodate the crowds.
While pastoring at Christian Assembly, Pastor Merrill also held the position of Academic Dean of Chicago Bible College. Both the little church and the college needed new homes, and in 1977, God provided the congregation and school an opportunity to lease *Sunset Park School*, an elementary school facility on Lonnquist Boulevard in nearby Mount Prospect. The Lonnquist school was a wonderful provision, and was home for both church and school from 1977 to 1981.
In 1981, the local school district placed Sunset Park School on sale, and the congregation of Christian Assembly and the administration of Chicago Bible College searched for a new, permanent home. Again, God provided by directing the purchase of another Mount Prospect elementary school facility, *Gregory School*. Centrally located in the northwest suburbs along Rand Road/US Highway 12, the Gregory School facility was essentially similar in design to Sunset Park School, but was situated on a huge 15-acre athletic field.
Recognizing God’s miraculous provision and leading, the congregation and school administration took a leap of faith and purchased the Gregory School site in 1981. The new home for the church and the college prompted name changes for both; in a spirit of unity, Christian Assembly became *Christian Life Church* and Chicago Bible College became *Christian Life College*.
This new home was a constant reminder of God’s leading for both church and college throughout the 1980s. As the 1990s approached, the church leadership began a thoughtful, deliberate quest for a larger, better-designed sanctuary addition to the building. After dozens of designs were reviewed over several years, a final plan was approved and after groundbreaking in late 1993, construction of the *new sanctuary* began in early 1994. The new sanctuary was completed and opened to the congregation on the Sunday before Thanksgiving in 1994, and what a Thanksgiving it was!
Through the years God has continued to bless and grow Christian Life Church. In 2006, God began to lead Christian Life to explore the possibility of becoming a multi-site church. In late 2008 we launched our West Campus. While meeting in homes and a variety of rented locations, we are expecting great results as the Kingdom of God expands.
God has led us at every turn of the road; God has provided for every need through the faithfulness of His people; God has blessed this ministry by His Spirit; and God has helped us enlarge our facilities, our outreach, and our vision.
“Every day they continued to meet together…praising God…
and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46, 47