The story of Antioch Community Church Wheaton
In the summer of 2003, Lead Pastor Jonathan Gulley, along with his wife, Amy, began to dream with the leadership of Antioch Community Church in Waco, TX about what it would look like to see a church planted in the Greater Chicago area to become a hub for church planting across the United States and the nations. After spending a year studying church planting and building a team, the Gulleys, their two small children, and a core team of 6 people moved from Waco, TX to Wheaton, IL to plant Antioch Community Church Wheaton in August 2004.
When the team landed in Wheaton, they spent the first 100 days getting to know the city and its people, focusing on sharing the gospel and praying for anyone who had need. As they reached out to people, two LifeGroups were formed to provide space for those coming to discover how to love God and love the world around them in the context of life-changing community. The first Sunday Service met in the atrium of IIT in October 2004.
The church soon outgrew IIT and began meeting in the Wheaton Grand Theater in downtown Wheaton. During that time, ACC continued to invest in Chicagoland through sharing the gospel, partnering with local ministries like PADS, hosting worship and missions conferences and starting new LifeGroups. The church also sought to demonstrate the love and power of God by sending disaster-relief teams to Sri Lanka and Biloxi, MS in response to the 2005 natural disasters that devastated those regions.
In 2007, ACC Wheaton started what is now called the Antioch School of Transformation, a discipleship and church planting school that resulted in two churches being planted: one in India in 2008 and Antioch Ft. Collins in 2010. We also moved from the Wheaton Grand Theater to Longfellow Elementary in 2010 to better serve the needs of the growing Antioch church family.
Having faithfully served the church and the Greater Chicago community for nearly a decade, Jonathan and Amy felt led by the Lord to transition out of the Lead Pastor position in the spring of 2013. After seeking God in prayer and consulting the Antioch Board of Advisors, Jonathan asked Chris Otts, the SoT Director, if he would step into the role of Lead Pastor. Along with his wife, Christie, Chris prayerfully considered what the Lord was saying about the future of ACC Wheaton and became the Lead Pastor in August 2013.
Since that time, the church has continued to grow as we’ve given ourselves to loving God and seeing His love transform the world around us. To accommodate that growth, we moved from Longfellow Elementary to our current home, Franklin Middle School.
In late 2017, Pastor Chris and Christie Otts felt led by God to transition out of the Lead Pastor role and accept a new role with the Antioch Church in Austin, TX. Currently, a Transition Team has been selected and approved by our leadership at Antioch Community Church in Waco, TX to oversee the transition from the Otts’ leadership to our eventual new Pastoral and church staff.