God’s Hand at Work
The Orchard Evangelical Free Church began in 1952 as The Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church. A small group of Christians had been meeting in homes and praying that God would use them to begin an evangelical church. Throughout the past years, God’s hand has led this ministry and from the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another (John 1:16). See a summary of The Orchard's 60 years of history in the video below.
In 1953, 43 people gathered for the first Sunday services in the auditorium of North School.
In 1954, the group purchased the Methodist Church on Dunton Street. This was their church home for the next 15 years.
In 1968, the Village of Arlington Heights purchased the Dunton Street property for a new library. The members purchased a four-acre site at 1331 N. Belmont and in1970 moved into their newly-built facility.
On December 11, 1982, a tragic fire destroyed the Sanctuary. For the next three years the congregation met at Hersey High School and in 1985 moved back to its expanded home at 1331 N Belmont Avenue. A new 29,500 square-foot education wing was added in 2001.
On November 7, 2010, the former Living Hope Fellowship in Itasca reopened as the The Orchard's Itasca Campus.
On December 12, 2010, after nearly two and a half years of holding worship services at Hersey High School, the Barrington Campus held the first worship service at its newly renovated building, the former JFK Health World children's museum.