The story of Village Church East began in a living room on the west side of Bartlett. In the autumn of 2015, a diverse group of twenty-five people began meeting together for a Bible study in Craig and Beth Jarvis’ living room on Wednesday nights. The group began to call themselves “242” based on Acts 2:42. They did this because in Acts 2:42, the early Church devoted themselves to “teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. Every week, the group actively participated in teaching, prayer, fellowship, and the breaking of bread (along with an occasional pizza).
At the same time, the Jarvis family was searching for a church to call home. Their search led them to the Village Church of Bartlett. Craig had known lead pastor Michael Fuelling for some time, but was still pleasantly surprised when Michael invited himself to tag along when Craig went fishing one day. For some time, the Lord had been speaking to Michael’s heart and had inspired him to consider the possibilities of Village Church of Bartlett planting a new church. While Craig was trying to catch fish, Michael was apparently fishing to see if Craig might be the pastor of a new church startup for Village.
After much prayer, in March of 2016, Michael called Craig from a California beach. The two pastors began a two-hour conversation about how the Lord was growing Village Church of Bartlett and if their gifts could be used together to expand to become one church in two locations. Craig had been in church ministry for over two decades but had never considered becoming a church planter. However, by the end of the conversation, Craig knew that God was calling him to plant a new church. His mission was clear.
On Memorial Day Weekend in 2016 at the Jarvis home, Michael and Craig met with the 242 group and presented the idea of joining together with Village Church of Bartlett to start a church plant. They expected to be met with anxiety and hesitation, but they instead were met with excitement and a hunger to pursue this new goal. The members of 242 began to attend and serve at the Village Church of Bartlett while still meeting on Wednesdays. The foundation for the church plant had been laid.
In November of 2016, the members of 242 joined with a handful of others to begin Saturday night worship services in room 601 at the Village Church of Bartlett. It soon became evident that they would be exceeding the attendance capacity of the room. Based on this, members of the church plant began praying for a new location. They prayed specifically over areas east of Village Church of Bartlett including Hanover Park, Roselle, Streamwood, and Carol Stream. God answered their prayers when they discovered their new location at the Fountainview Recreation center in Carol Stream. Village Church East was born.
On February 26th 2017, Village Church East celebrated their official grand opening! In ten short months, God had transformed a small group of faithful believers who were meeting in a living room into a new church. In less than a year, the twenty-five people who met in the Jarvis’ living room grew to nearly a hundred and share a passion to spread the message of the Gospel.
Village Church East stands as proof that God is faithful and blesses those who work to further His Kingdom. The church stands as a living testimony that God works through people who are not afraid to take risks, step out in faith, and trust in God’s sovereign plan. We invite you to come join Village Church East and witness God’s goodness firsthand as He continues to grow His church.