Who We Are
History of The Painted Door
In the early 2000s, Christian leaders throughout North America began emphasizing the need to form new churches in major cities -- churches that could offer Christ to the diverse and dynamic populations of urban centers. Pastor Mark Bergin and his wife Acacia were among the many young ministers who responded to this call.
In September, 2009, the Bergin family sold their Seattle home and drove to Chicago to plant a church. Within a couple of weeks, they met Greg and Samantha Connour, experienced musicians who agreed to lead in music and arts. Greg would go on to serve as a church elder for five years before his tragic death in 2015 from skin cancer. Samantha continues to lead in music and arts and as Operations Director.
Gaining such qualified leaders allowed The Painted Door to begin holding weekly worship gatherings in April, 2010. And soon thereafter, the church moved into its first permanent home, a funky, abandoned storefront on Chicago Ave. Over the next two-plus years, the congregation attracted members with wide-ranging visions of church life and struggled to determine just what sort of community it would be.
But by November, 2012, when the church relocated its weekly worship gatherings to Wells High School a few blocks away, the congregation had largely settled into rhythms of church life that shape the community to this day. These rhythms reflect a growing affection for the ancient forms and creeds of the Christian faith, a willingness to endure messy community rather than clean it up with church programs, and an emphasis on forgiveness and suffering as the center of life in Jesus.