Celebrating 100 years of Service...

Mayfair Presbyterian Church

Join us in service!


In 1918 the neighborhood known as Mayfair was a new subdivision, streets were being paved and homes built. To the northeast of the area, workmen were busy enlarging and improving the Bohemian National Cemetery. Their families lived nearby. Just a little to the south, the W. H. Spikings’ home was situated in the vicinity of Ainslie and Pulaski. Mrs. Spikings befriended these families and concerned herself with the fact that there was no Sunday School which the children could attend.  In time, she was given permission to organize a Sunday School under the sponsorship of the Irving Park Dutch Reformed Church. (This church was later known as the Irving Park Presbyterian Church.) The Spikings family constructed a building for the Sunday School at the corner of Harding and Ainslie, and out of this beginning we now have Mayfair Presbyterian Church.  It came about in this way:  From the Harding location they moved to Ainslie and Keeler, and at this site a meeting was held to organize a Presbyterian church. The name Perseverance Presbyterian Church was decided upon, and Elders and Deacons were nominated.

On March 6, 1922, representatives from the Presbytery of Chicago met with the group for the formal organization of the church and the following were received as Charter Members: Maurice W. and L Constance Buckley; Henry and Jennie Grimsland; Myron T. and Jeanette Monsen; J. Herman and Agnes M. Gehrke; Harry and Ethel Goller; Thormond and Martha Monsen; Margaret A. Buckley; Bertha L Monsen; Anna Walla; Elizabeth Mielke; John H. and Alma Neil; Thomas Douglas; Dora Corr; Lauretta Mielke;  Elizabeth Russell; Jessie Miller. This small group of 23 Charter Members began its work with the blessing and financial help of the Presbytery of Chicago through its Church Extension Board.
On May 11, 1922, a formal call was extended to the Rev. Roy J. Miller to serve as Pastor. However, the small congregation was left without a leader when he accepted a call to Ithaca, Michigan at the end of March in 1923. 

A call was extended to the Rev. George Searles (of Erie Chapel) on February 25, 1923, and accepted. Again the congregation was left leaderless when Rev. Searles resigned from his pastorate the following year. On July 30, 1924, a call was extended to the Rev. George Cleaver, which he accepted, remaining with the congregation until January 31, 1926. Despite the fact that the congregation had labored under the guidance of three different pastors, membership increased to 55 members from the original 23.

Again, without a leader, the pulpit was supplied by visiting ministers. One of these was the Rev. William McInnes who had traveled from Canada to do graduate work at the McCormick Theological Seminary. On April 26, 1926 Rev. McInnes was extended a call, accepted the call and brought his family from Canada. 

A number of serious problems soon emerged. The first was the over-crowding in the church school. One Sunday 133 children were compelled to occupy a room which had only 132 chairs. Another problem was the location. Most of the children lived west of Keeler, and the feeling was that the church ought to be built in the vicinity of Kostner.

The first of these problems was met temporarily by renting the auditorium and classroom facilities at Palmer School for Sunday School and church worship services. This arrangement was used from November 6, 1927 to February, 1930. During this time, the property on which the church now stands was offered for sale. A home stood in the middle of the property; the owner moved it to the back and divided the entire plot of land into six lots, offering the four corner lots for sale. The Board of Trustees promptly secured an option on these four lots and within a short time the congregation approved the purchase. Later, the other two lots (including the house) were also purchased. This house then was used as the pastor’s residence – the Manse.

Originally, the congregation was named Perseverance Presbyterian Church. On January 3, 1929, the members voted to change the name to Mayfair Presbyterian Church, with the slogan “a community church.”

By April 1, 1929, the congregation had grown financially strong enough to become self-supporting and no longer required aid from the Church Extension Board. On its own at last and financially sound, thoughts immediately leapt to a new church building, and while they worshipped in the auditorium of Palmer School, excavation for a new building was started in October 1929, the time of the stock market crash which initiated the Great Depression. As a result, only the basement was finished and roofed over. The interior was completed, making a large hall with a kitchen at the north end and a stage at the south end, and for 20 years this completed basement served every purpose necessary, as well as the place of worship.

The following years were more than difficult but the morale of the congregation remained high, and under the faithful leadership of the minister, the difficulties seemed to bind the congregation closer together.

In 1932, men of the congregation constructed rooms at the rear of the second floor of the original building without any outside help.

As the years passed, land purchase and construction debts were gradually cleared, and the congregation grew in numbers. With faith in God, members felt steps should be taken to secure a church edifice with a sanctuary for worship and ample church rooms for the work of the young people.

To test this purpose a campaign was held to raise $50,000 to be paid over a period of 30 months. A group of enthusiastic workers received pledges for the entire amount. In addition, without any outside help, a supplementary campaign raised $27,000 payable over a period of 20 months. 

With confidence, a Building Committee was formed to begin the work resulting in the present church edifice. Construction began on August 8, 1948 and the church opened for worship on November 20, 1949. The interior was completed with the exception of the 2nd floor. That area was completed later and comprised the church office, the pastor’s office, the Church School office, the Women’s Association parlor, three Church School rooms, and two washrooms. Currently the Church School office is the counting room/store room and the Women’s Association parlor is called the Social Room, with movable partitions to divide the space into three sections.

  • October 24, 1948 – The Laying of the Cornerstone Service
  • November 20, 1949 – Opening Service of the New Sanctuary Service
  • April 16, 1950 – Vesper and Dedication Service
The congregation established an endowment fund in 1992 as it began looking toward the future.  The building so proudly dedicated in 1950 is now 62 years old and many repairs and replacements have been necessary.  Thus, MPC on November 15, 2015 took time to celebrate all of these milestones with a Re-Dedication of the Chimes.

All these things throughout MPC’s history have been accomplished because we believe that God has a purpose for Mayfair Presbyterian Church – a purpose that requires MPC to continue as a vital Christian influence in our neighborhood...

With His grace, whether with many or few to do His work, may Mayfair Presbyterian Church always stand to the glory of God.