Willow News

Learn what's happening at all our Willow Creek locations through a wide variety of news and media channels.

Willow Creek Church Is Sending Christmas Gifts to Every Inmate in the State of Illinois

This year, Willow Creek Community Church founder Bill Hybels announced that church volunteers would be ensuring that every single inmate in Illinois would be receiving a special Christmas gift bag this year. It’s part of Hybels’ burden for incarcerated people.

Read the full Relevant article here 
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Willow Creek packs gifts for prisoners in Illinois

Willow Creek Community Church's congregation assembled more than 70,000 Prison Packs at weekend services Sunday, Dec. 3, and Monday, Dec. 4, as part of an annual compassion and justice initiative to gift every inmate incarcerated in Illinois with a Christmas gift. Prison packing began five years ago in Willow Creek's Care Center, a ministry that is committed to fighting poverty and injustice.

Read the full Daily Herald article 

Megachurch Pastor Bill Hybels: Jesus Was 'Blindingly Clear' on Engaging Prisoners

Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, is glad he didn't pass away in his mid 50s. If he did, he would have had to explain to God why he never visited a prisoner. "I follow God's son, Jesus Christ, who was blindingly clear about how I should engage with prisoners," said Hybels. "If I had passed away at 55 despite all that clear training and additionally because I'm a pastor, I would've had to explain to God that I didn't pray for prisoners, that I had never visited one, I had never lifted a finger to help prisoners in any way." Read the full Christian Post article 
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Willow Creek Names Bill Hybels' Successor—Both of Them

This will be a new leadership structure for WCCC that replaces the role of senior pastor with two new roles, one focused on leadership and the other on teaching. Stepping into the role of lead pastor is Heather Larson, 42, formerly the executive pastor of the church and its eight Chicago-area locations. Assuming the title of lead teaching pastor will be Steve Carter, 38, who has been Hybels' teaching associate for the last five years.

Read the official press release 

Willow Creek names two senior pastors to replace retiring Hybels

The beginning of the end of senior pastor Bill Hybels' tenure as the leader of the Willow Creek Community Church began with an announcement during a service Saturday evening at the South Barrington campus that two senior Willow Creek pastors will succeed him. Read the full Daily Herald Article 
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Willow Creek to name Bill Hybels' successor this weekend

Willow Creek Community Church will announce senior pastor Bill Hybels' successor at its Saturday evening service, the church said in a news release Wednesday. Hybels founded the South Barrington-based church 42 years ago, and since then it has grown into one of the 10 largest churches in the country, averaging 25,000 attendees each week at its eight locations in the area.

Read the full article  

Willow Creek's Crystal Lake church to open in new downtown location

Willow Crystal Lake will mark the opening of its permanent new home at 100 S. Main St. with a celebration and services Oct. 21 and 22. The new, 193,000-square-foot church is situated on a 25-acre campus that will cater to more than 4,000 attendees with room for growth. Its development has been a labor of love with more than 150 volunteers putting in more than 10,000 hours of work, from painting to installing flooring.

Read the Full Article 
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Suburban residents donating supplies to Harvey victims

Donations are on the way from the Chicago area to Hurricane Harvey victims. Diapers, toys, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo are all being donated to victims and were dropped off at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington...“We decided to give a little blessing so small toys that can be given to the kids who have had a really difficult few weeks,” Josie Michalak, Willow Creek Director of Compassion, said.

Watch the video from WGN 

Willow Creek Rallies for Harvey Relief

Residents from the Chicago area turned out Friday and over Labor Day weekend in South Barrington to deliver and load palettes of supplies to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in southeast Texas. Willow Creek Community Church held the supply drive, where staffers and volunteers filled five semitrucks with goods... Continue reading from the Chicago Tribune 
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A Guinness World Record®

Willow Creek Community Church set a Guinness World Record® for the largest game of catch during our annual DadFest celebration. "It feels great. We did it," Steve Carter said, smiling as he hoisted the certificate. "All of Willow came together. We broke a record!"

Read the full article 

Packing Seeds, Bringing Hope

Chicago Tribune:  In assembly-line fashion, numerous volunteers at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington recently sat at more than a dozen long tables, filling and sealing pocket-sized packets of seeds while applauding other helpers along the way...

Read the Full Article 
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70,000 Gifts for Prisoners 

Willow Creek Community Church has an important message aimed at blessing the lives of an often forgotten population this holiday season: the incarcerated. For the fourth consecutive year, the church spearheads a compassion and justice initiative called Prison Packs, and gifts every inmate in the state of Illinois a Christmas package.

Watch Willow's Original Film 

Love Everyone, Always.

In October 2016, we declared a bold message: Love Everyone, Always. The campaign focused on love, forgiveness, and acceptance amidst a heated time in our country around politics and the election. "Jesus invites us to love everyone, always. The people who don't look like us, vote like us, or act like us—God still deeply loves them. Help us spread this message!” says Teaching Pastor Steve Carter.

The campaign was picked up by the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press.

Read the Article 
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Special Friends Production

Willow Creek's Special Friends ministry performed Disney's Aladdin Jr. to a 5000+ crowd in Willow South Barrington's Main Auditorium. The musical garnered the attention of the Chicago Tribune and local news stations, but more importantly, it gave more than 40 kids and students with special needs the opportunity to put their abilities on display. They captivated the crowd and received a standing ovation!

Watch the Highlights Here 

New Buildings for Two Willow Campuses

Willow North Shore and Willow Crystal Lake have undergone major capital campaigns to fund the building of new church homes. Willow North Shore plans to open their state-of-the-art building designed by world-renowned architect Adrian Smith on December 3/4. Willow Crystal Lake breaks ground on their new location on November 1.  
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Stay Engaged on Social

All Willow Creek locations and pastors have social mdedia accounts to keep you up to date on all that is happening. Check out our complete social media directory to follow any and all!

View the Complete Social Media Directory 

Press Releases and News

Click here to view all press releases and news articles for Willow Creek events. Feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries—we would love to provide you with more information. Contact for Media Relations 
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