Members of Westlake Community Church and Faith Community Church, both in Huntley, are preparing for the biggest wedding of their lifetimes.
Both congregations will vote Sunday to become one unified family starting in November.
"It's almost like a marriage," Westlake Pastor Joel Popenfoose said. "The two are going to become really one in every sense. We're very excited about the possibilities moving forward."
The roughly 150 members of Westlake Community Church will move in with the slightly larger congregation at Faith Community Church, located at 10547 Faiths Way, at the corner of Haligus and Algonquin roads. The union will create a more than 300-member church with a new name to be revealed Sunday.
Westlake has been renting facilities, including the Huntley Park District's Cosman Cultural Center off Mill Street, for services since its inception 1996. Years ago, church leaders purchased 27 acres west of Huntley High School on Harmony Road for a possible future church, Popenfoose said.
However, the merger with Faith Community Church seemed the right fit for both congregations that espouse a gospel-centered theology, he added.
The first Sunday service for the joint congregation will be Nov. 3.
Faith Community's building can accommodate both congregations for Sunday service, but multiple services might be required down the road, Popenfoose said.
Faith Community Church Pastor Bruce Cole could not be reached for comment due to illness. The church, formed in 2001, serves Huntley, Algonquin, and surrounding communities.
Westlake draws members from Algonquin, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, parts of Crystal Lake, Marengo and Woodstock, ranging from single adults and young families to older adults living in Sun City-Huntley.
There also is some ethnic diversity within the congregation. With the growing Hispanic population in the area, church leaders might consider providing services in Spanish in the future, Popenfoose said.
The new church will have a combined administrative staff, and will continue to improve on its various missions, including children's and student ministries, food pantry, guest services, and providing Thanksgiving meals for underprivileged residents, Popenfoose said.
A grand opening celebration is planned Nov. 3 with live music and a children's carnival inside Faith Community Church.
"We're just looking for kind of a fun day to celebrate together," Popenfoose said.