On Sunday, February 27th, 2022, at 10:30 am the congregation of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) will present a check for $50,000 to the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), specifically in support of the Reparations Stakeholders Authority of Evanston group. These funds will go towards local reparations plans in conjunction with the City of Evanston’s Reparations Program.

Ninety-one members of FUMC personally donated in support of the FUMC Reparations Fund in 2021. In addition to financial support, the congregation learned about the history of racism in Evanston, the history of the reparations effort in the United States, and the local achievement of Evanston being the first community in America to provide government funding for reparations to African American citizens.

Also on Feb. 27th, Robin Rue Simmons, the architect of the City of Evanston Reparations efforts, will speak to the FUMC congregation about the Reparations program and its initial impact. That is the last Sunday of Black History Month and the final Sunday before the Christian season of Lent, a time of repentance, begins.

The Church will also announce its efforts to raise additional funds in 2022, beginning on March 2nd, the first day of Lent. The plan is that FUMC funds raised in 2022 will be part of a larger donation from numerous Evanston faith communities. Clergy and leaders of local churches, synagogues, temples and other faith communities are preparing for a joint effort to educate their communities about Evanston’s history of racism, and support Evanston reparations together.

FUMC’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Grace Imathiu, is proud FUMC and other faith communities are supporting this historic effort. Rev. Imathiu said, “One of our church’s early members was Maria Murray Robinson, the first black resident of Evanston. Our faith requires us to acknowledge our racist past, act now for change, so our future is fully inclusive.”

About First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church was founded in 1854, and was the first faith community in Evanston. Through its history, it has provided leadership for the anti-slavery, temperance, peace movement, educational movement, and full inclusion of all LGBTQIA+ persons. The congregation has upheld a heritage of prophetic preaching, missional outreach, progressive values of social teaching and action, and a love of music. For more information, please visit