Niles Community Church merges with Park Ridge Presbyterian Church

When Niles Community Church merged with Park Ridge Presbyterian Church and sold its Niles building, parishioners pledged to make significant donations to area food banks. Church officials presented checks to Niles Family Services Village Pantry, Niles Township and Maine Township officials at the Niles Village Council meeting on Tuesday, March 22. Attending the presentation were (left to right) Maine Township Pantry Manager Nick Kanehl, Church elders Jim Oates Pat Newkirch, Niles Mayor George Alpogianis (center), Julie Halley , Debbie Oates and Maryann Ballard, Niles Family Services manager Darren Brown and Niles Township pantry manager Tony Araque. (Tom Robb/Newspaper photo)

Members of the former Niles Community Church, which merged with Park Ridge Presbyterian Church last year, arrived at the Niles Village Board meeting on Tuesday, March 22 with large donations in cash for three pantries serving the village of Niles.

Church officials donated $51,695 to the Maine Township Food Pantry, $51,695 to the Niles Township Food Pantry, and $20,678 to the Village of Niles Family Services Food Pantry, three organizations they called “community partners “.

Maine Township Food Pantry Manager Nick Kanehl, Niles Township Food Pantry Manager Tony Araque, and Niles Family Services Manager Darren Brown attended the meeting to accept the checks.

Niles Community Church elder Jim Oates said part of the merger agreement between Niles Community Church and Park Ridge Presbyterian called for helping their longtime community partners. The donations were referred to as “legacy donations” from the proceeds of the sale of church property which Oates said took place in February.

Niles Community Church, at 7401 Oakton Street, would have celebrated its 70th anniversary in the village on Wednesday, March 23 had it not merged with Park Ridge Church.

The merger, due to declining church attendance in Niles, was approved in August. Niles Community Church officials said their last service at the old church was in October last year.

A new church in Oakton, Iglesia Cristiana El Hijo Prodigo, which translates to Christian Church of the Prodigal Son, is holding worship in the old Niles Community Church building.

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Norma P. Rex