Sauk Church History

Andy Minch interviews former SVCC church elders John Hess and John Novak.

When I first came to Sauk Valley church I was amazed to hear that in its history the present church actually grew out of two churches uniting together. What benefits has that brought to the present church?

There is the stability of a well established congregation in Dixon and the contemporary feel of a church that started as a church plant in Harmon.

The two churches became one viable church. After 3 years from 2006 to 2009, the merger is seamless in that there is no attitude of “them” and “us”. It is truly amazing that two such diverse groups could merge and not only survive, but actually flourish.

Were there difficulties along the way?

Yes, shortly after the merger we suddenly lost our pastor. It was a time that helped us refocus our identity around God rather than around a man. It also helped us understand that we are a community that needs to support one another.

In the interim of being an elder run church, we discovered that God has gifted us with people within our congregation that can serve the needs of the church from within. It has been an exciting path that has encouraged participation on the part of the church where in times past reliance upon the Pastor would have been the norm.

How is the present church different than the churches it was birthed out of?

One of the curious differences is that a top down organizational structure tends to get bound up in the vision of just one man. It also gets tangled up in the politics of personal agendas and legalism. Majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors is a pitfall that the merger has identified and has avoided. We are involved in evangelism, the needs of people, and the service of our Lord. It is really refreshing to be a part of this work.

What would you want the world to know about SVCC?

SVCC is one place where you don’t have to pretend. We are all acutely aware of our imperfections and the need to encourage one another in our failings and rejoice with one another in our victories.