The Chicago Mar Thoma church was originated in the early nineteen seventies as a small worship group. In May 1973, the late Valia Thirumeni Alexander Mar Thoma (then the Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Theophilus Episcopa) visited Chicago. At that time Thirumeni encouraged the few Marthomites in the area to meet for regular worship. This worship group became the first Chicago Mar Thoma congregation. After 1975, as numerous Mar Thoma members started migrating to Chicago, the group felt convinced of the need for pastoral care by a Mar Thoma Achen. Since it was difficult for one group alone to sponsor an Achen, the Chicago, Detroit and Toronto Marthoma groups decided to request the service of an Achen for the three groups. Rev. Dr. Ipe Joseph was assigned to serve the three congregations in 1977. In the same year, the congregation was granted a not-for-profit organization by the State of Illinois. The congregation was approved by the Synod of the Mar Thoma church as a congregation in May 1978. The congregation was elevated to the status of a parish in August 1981. The parish was assigned a full time Achen in October 1984.

The parish ventured to acquire its own church, which was a big leap to shift from rented buildings where the worship was previously being conducted. In January 1985, the existing land at 240 Potter Road was purchased and on July 14, 1985, the foundation stone for a new church was laid by the Late Most Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Theophilus Metropolitan. The church building was completed and dedicated in November 1986 by the late The Rt. Rev. Easo Mar Timotheos Episcopa. Subsequently the church acquired the adjacent land for parsonage and additional parking. In 1991, a group of about 20 families left to form the current Bethel Mar Thoma Church. Another turning point in the history of the Chicago Mar Thoma Church was the formation of the new St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church with 106 families from the parish membership. The Chicago Mar Thoma Church, which started with less than twenty families in 1973, is still the largest parish in North America with over 350 families.

Thanks to Almighty, we have enjoyed over 3 decades of fellowship together as a strong Mar Thoma group in the Chicago area. We are immensely grateful to our Metropolitans and the Episcopal Synod for their timely and visionary guidance and leadership. We owe enormous gratitude to our previous and current diocesan bishops - the late The Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius Episcopa, The Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostam Valia Metropolitan, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan and The Rt. Rev. Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos Episcopa - for their patronage and guidance in making us what we are as a parish today. All of our Achens have provided superb leadership towards our establishment, growth and development. The members are able to stand together as one body and make significant contributions of their time and other resources for the common good. We still have a long way to go. We along with other Mar Thoma parishes in the area must concentrate on developing programs that would cater to the specific needs of our children, youth, young adults, adults and senior adults so that they will be adequately enlightened to lighten others as proud Marthomites in the coming decades. May the Lord bless us and guide us so that His name alone will be glorified through our humble efforts in this land.

 

240 Potter Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016

www.chicagomarthoma.org

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