The history of Emmanuel Episcopal Church is as old as historic La Grange with Early Episcopalians first worshipping at the home of David Lyman, one of the La Grange’s earliest residents. In 1875, one of the town founders, Franklin Cossitt, who named La Grange after his farm in Tennessee, donated land at the exact geographic center of the existing community. John Tilton, a well known architect, designed and built the stone church which was famous for its Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. That church, completed in 1878, was the home for La Grange area Episcopalians until 1924 when a fire of unknown origins completely destroyed the building.
Saddened, but determined to rebuild, the Emmanuel community hired Tilton and his son to build another church on the same site. That church, of Gothic design, has been our church home since May 19, 1926. A strikingly beautiful building, it was featured in the 1995 movie “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock.
Emmanuel has been a fixture in the La Grange community for over well over one hundred years. For over 50 years, the church has hosted an antique show which has drawn dealers and patrons from all over the Midwest. Proceeds from that show are used to fund charitable organizations in the community needs such as Pillars, the Constance Morris House for battered women, Brookfield Zoo (Hamill Play Zoo) and other organizations.
Emmanuel is the church home for over 150 families who come from many different religious traditions, but have found a welcoming place in which to deepen their relationship with God.