DeKalb Wesleyan Church itself has its roots in the Wesleyan Methodist Denomination.
The establishment of a Wesleyan Methodist Church in the DeKalb area was the culmination of a vision held by a few people, including conference President Rev. Arthur L. Bray.
Because DeKalb was rapidly starting to grow due to extensive new homes and Northern Illinois University, it seemed good to consider the establishment of a Wesleyan Methodist work. Two families: the Joe Holloway family from Fairmount, Indiana, and the Howard Eytcheson family from Broadview, Illinois, transferred into DeKalb, and their presence added to the need for a new church. In the spring of 1967 plans were begun to finalize the steps that were taken to initiate the construction of a new church. Ground was broken, and the building of a 36-foot by 64-foot colonial-looking sanctuary over a full basement was started.
Rev. David Castro, who had spent three years in Chicago and three years in Wheaton as an assistant pastor, was appointed pastor of the new DeKalb project. While the denomination and Illinois Conference provided the first year's salary for Pastor Castro, the majority of the finances to begin the $52,000 work came from the various gifts of individuals and conference groups who aided the work greatly. Even though much of the church’s construction was contracted, the local congregation, with assistance from conference laypeople and pastors, did the final painting and decorating themselves. The first community service was held November 19, 1967. The Wesleyan Methodist Denomination then merged with the Pilgrim Holiness Church in 1968 to form what is now known as the Wesleyan Church, and the church then took on its present name, "DeKalb Wesleyan." This new church grew tremendously under Pastor Castro’s ministry in the years to follow.
At this time we are still researching more of the church’s history in order that we can fill in the gaps between Pastor Castro’s ministry and the present ministry. I must admit that every time I enter a process like this I am reminded of the great classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In this movie, George Bailey was given a great gift, according to Clarence, his Angel Second-Class. George had an opportunity to see what the world would have been like if he did not live.
What would DeKalb and the world be like if the Holloway family, the Eytcheson family, the Castro family, and others like them did not see that the vision of DeKalb Wesleyan Church became a reality? Our lives (“history”) impact others whither we realize it or not. We are each leaving our mark, and so is the church. But what kind of mark are each of us leaving? If somehow we all were not here in this life, what would the world lose?
I hope that at some point in the future, God will grant you and I the opportunity to hear from others about “the mark” that you have left upon them. But, how is that going to come about? What do we all need to do to ensure that someone may say something?