The First Presbyterian Church of Galena is an active member in the following organizations:
Blackhawk Presbytery essentially includes all of the northern one-third of Illinois with the exception of the Chicago area. We are made up of 88 churches of dramatically varying sizes and circumstances.
We have churches situated in the heartbeat of busy urban areas, such as First Presbyterian in Aurora and Westminster Presbyterian in Rockford; we also have churches raising majestically out of the middle of productive farmland, like Prairie Dell Presbyterian in Shannon and Waltham Presbyterian in Utica.
The geographic center of the presbytery is somewhere around Paw Paw or Mendota, but because of the influence of the massive population center of Chicago on our northeastern edge, the population center of our presbytery is much further to the east. This gives us an interesting mixture with the majority of our churches being in small towns and rural areas, while the majority of our members live in urban areas.
Our smallest church in terms of membership is Wenona Presbyterian with 16 members. Our largest church is First Presbyterian in Joliet with 986 members. Total membership of the presbytery is 19,848.
Blackhawk Presbytery was formed in 1972 by the merger of all or part of four other presbyteries: Ottawa, Freeport, Rock Island, and Bloomington. At that time, our members worked hard to forge a new family out of the separate traditions of our past. And, as the "Reformed Church, Always Reforming," we continue to work hard to try to incorporate new members and diverse ideas as we seek to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in northern Illinois today.
United Churches of Galena
The United Churches is a highly-active organization made up of nine congregations within Galena and the Sinsinawa Mound Center, headquarters of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters located across the state line in southeastern Wisconsin. The United Churches meet the first Thursday of every month (except July and August) to celebrate each other's successes and share each other's concerns.
Together the churches sponsor quite a number activities over the calendar year. These include:
Worship Services: World Day of Prayer, Community Good Friday Service, Baccalaureate, Thanksgiving Eve Service, and a Community Christmas Concert.
Mission Projects: The United Churches Housing Project (which builds home for needy members of the Galena community), the Galena Food Pantry, Combined Care (a relief agency coordination group) and the annual CROP Walk (which raises funds for the hunger-fighting programs of Church World Service).
Christian Educational Events: A five-congregation Vacation Bible School is one of the highlights of every summer.
Rev. Jim McCrea has served three terms as president of the United Churches of Galena and two terms as Secretary since arriving in Galena in 1992. One of our First Presbyterian members, Gus Gartner, also served three terms as president during that time.
For a schedule of the United Churches events, please see the events page or call the church office.