Bolingbrook OKs church's move despite residents' concerns
BOLINGBROOK — Ultimate Faith Christian Center will relocate to a shuttered Walgreens on the edge of Bolingbrook and Woodridge despite some concerns from residents regarding the church's mission to serve recovering drug addicts and the homeless.
The Bolingbrook Village Board Feb. 26 unanimously passed an ordinance to allow Ultimate Faith Christian Center to relocate into a former Walgreens at 83rd Street and Janes Avenue.
The move comes weeks after more than two dozen people turned out to a Bolingbrook Plan Commission meeting Feb. 6, lobbying to trustees and Bolingbrook Plan Commission that the church's move would increase traffic, put a premium on residential parking and infringe upon child safety.
Located near a border shared by Bolingbrook and Woodridge — the Walgreens building is across from the Woodridge Park District's Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park.
The center's mission is "to minister to those that have been given up on, the homeless, ex-offenders and those with addictions to teach them the word of God," according to its website, and the church's pastor, the Rev. George Guilford.
The church is currently located at 481 W. Boughton Road, sharing a strip mall building with several businesses. Guilford attests that his parish has outgrown their present home and that they need a bigger space for their growing community.
According to Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, the village board received dozens of emails and phone calls regarding the proposed relocation of the church — some questioned the move, others were clear in their opposition, Claar said. Some messages contained racially charged and hateful diction, he said.
"(Ultimate Faith Christian Center) has been in Bolingbrook for seven years and there has not been a single problem," Claar said at the Feb. 26 meeting. "How people can misconstrue this is baffling. I cannot think of a better use of the space than a church."
There were no public comments during the Feb. 26 meeting regarding the church relocation.
Woodridge Mayor William Murphy opted not to comment on the issue when reached be telephone last week.
During the closing portion of the board meeting, several trustees welcomed Guilford and his parish, and some shared Claar's sentiments.
"I cannot believe, in this day and age, that people still use the phrase 'those people,'" Bolingbrook Trustee Ricardo Morales said.
Guilford did not set a timetable for when the church would officially relocate, but the pastor said he is happy to put this ordeal behind him and that he is looking forward to spreading God's word throughout the community.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org