Early Women's Groups

The earliest Sunday bulletin in the Church's archives is dated October 6, 1940. In it are announcements from two women's groups. The Women's Missionary Society had bylaws, minutes, elected officers, attendance as high as 50, and they had a bazaar scheduled. But there is no history beyond that.

The Electa Owen Sunday School Class was taught by Electa Owen. There are minutes showing they met Sundays for Bible study and the first Monday of the month for fellowship. They also had bylaws, minutes, and elected officers. Their work was for the Church, the Community, and the World and their motto, “To cultivate the spirit of Christ in every area of human life beginning with our own lives and reaching out into home and community and uttermost parts of the earth.”

They made goods for an annual bazaar and they used the proceeds to purchase hundreds of items for the church and their community and world philanthropies. They created the Women's Guild as a sister organization with their primary purpose of service: cutting and sewing of baby gowns, baby quilts, and wrapping blankets; and making scrapbooks for children.

John W. Cyrus, Second Pastor
1941-1943 (Unitarian)

John Cyrus graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School and came to this church from the Park and Prospect Christian Church, Milwaukee. When asked by a reporter about his objective as minister in Litchfield Park he replied, “A church for the whole community; a religion for both mind and heart.” He resigned and was called to pastor at the First Unitarian Church of Omaha.

Myron C. Settle, Third Pastor
1944-1947 (Disciples of Christ)

In 1914, Myron Settle pioneered the Week-day Religious Education in the Kansas school system, where the students spent a fourth of the day in religious education. Myron Settle was ordained by the Disciples of Christ in 1916. He earned a Bachelor degree in Religious Education from Boston University in 1923.

In 1931 he was chosen General Secretary of the Kansas Council of Christian education. His first position as a pastor was in 1941, at the Community Church at Whitewater, KS. He was called to Litchfield Park in 1944. He later served as pastor of several churches in Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, and Florida.


The colonnade was the first major construction since the sanctuary. Construction began in September 1945 and was completed in June of 1946. It was a line of classrooms with a kitchen in the north end. Unlike the sanctuary it was built of block. It included the façade with a row of arches and the cowbell lights, exactly as we see it today. The Fireside Room was the area used for women’s luncheons, many potluck dinners, and meetings.

In the early 1990s, the south side of the Fireside Room was repurposed into the bride’s room and living room of the church where families gather for funerals and church events.

In 1985, during the renovation of the sanctuary, the newly renovated kitchen was removed from the north end of the building to make room for a passageway from the front of the church to the courtyard and social hall.

James Blaine Ostergren, Fourth Pastor
1947-1958 (Swedish Baptist)

After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1914, James Ostergren was ordained by the Payne Avenue Baptist Church of St. Paul, Minnesota that was Swedish Baptist at the time. He earned a Master’s Degree in 1918 and joined the U.S. Army where he was sent to the European front line as a chaplain.

Before coming to Litchfield Park, he worked for the Juvenile Protective Agency Association, the Great Lakes Red Cross Training Center, earned a Bachelor of Divinity in 1923, was a pastor for several Baptist churches, and then in 1944, for WWII, he worked for the USO of Geneva, NY. Pastor Ostergren was the first pastor to truly fit into Mr. Litchfield’s vision of a non-denominational church.

Continue to 1950's