The Rev. Dennis Langdon is now leading two local churches—but he doesn’t see that as too much to take on.
Langdon, a Morgan Park resident, was officially installed as pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, 9848 S. Winchester Ave., on Sept. 10.
He is also pastor of Morgan Park United Methodist Church. However, the two churches are only 10 blocks away, and they host weekly services at different times.
So, Langdon said, leading Trinity “made perfect sense.”
“I just thought it was a good fit,” Langdon said. “I had a little bit of a [relationship] with Trinity because I had known some of the previous pastors.”
Langdon replaces the Rev. Delian Stone, and Langdon has led the church since July 1.
Langdon earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University, as well as a master’s degree in divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston. He has been a pastor for 17 years.
At Trinity, Langdon assumes leadership at a church preparing to celebrate its 160th anniversary next year. According to its website, Trinity was founded in 1858 as an “offshoot” of the Chicago temple and aimed at serving members who had moved to remote southern suburbs. Its location continued to move farther south, changing locations eight times.
The current location has a “magnificent Gothic sanctuary,” the website said, and “became a center of flourishing ministry that rigorously supported outreach and mission work, as well as local community ministries.”
Members “believe that all people are part of God’s family,” the website added, and “value tradition, worship and the love of God that is embodied in our interactions with our families and the world.”
The church “offers a traditional worship experience,” the website said.
According to Langdon, there are about 50 members in the congregation—which is about half of the Morgan Park church.
The churches share a similar name, but they aren’t totally alike, Langdon said, as Trinity follows a more traditional approach.
“They were both very large congregations at one time, and they’re much smaller congregations at this point. And after that, they’re probably quite a bit different,” Langdon said. “Trinity is probably more a steeple church in terms of worship style; Morgan Park’s closer to a blend of traditional and blended services. … I would say that Trinity’s probably very traditional.”
Edris Hoover, of Beverly, has been in the congregation for many years, and her parents were actively involved with the church.
She appreciates the fact that Langdon lives locally, saying he is “invested in the community,” which she hopes leads to positive results at Trinity.
She thinks Langdon leading two churches can be beneficial.
“I think he’s very personable and very easy to communicate with,” Hoover said, “and I hope that this kind of connection will grow. Trinity is different from Morgan Park in some ways. The traditions are different, but I think those traditions will learn from each other, and we all benefit from it.”
Langdon, who has led Morgan Park United Methodist Church since 2011, said he was attracted to being a pastor by the opportunity to work with people.
As he begins his leadership at a second local church, he is anxious to use new ideas and experiences to help both congregations.
“People are fascinating, and getting to know the people and getting [to work] with people is interesting—sometimes challenging, but challenging and interesting work,” Langdon said. “The possibilities to be engaged in ministry are always exciting. Each church … brings something unique to ministry. So what feels like it might work in one venue might not in the other—and vice versa.”
Trinity United Methodist Church hosts services on Sundays at 9:30 a.m., followed by fellowship in the church hall; Morgan Park United Methodist Church’s services are Sundays at 11 a.m.
For more information on Trinity United Methodist Church, visit the website at chicagotrinityumc.org.
To contact Langdon, call (773) 445-5300.