History of the Robbins Church of Christ

The Robbins Church of Christ located in the village of Robbins, Illinois, had its original inception during the year 1940, under the leadership and ministry of Evangelist Fred T. Lymon. Brother Lymon was born on February 17, 1910, in Maury County, Tennessee, to the parents of Will and Ida Delk Savage Lymon. He relocated to the South suburban area of Chicago, Illinois, during the Great Migration and subsequently became the first African American Minister of the Robbins Church of Christ. Fred Tom Lymon made many sacrifices to teach and preach the good news of Jesus Christ in the Robbins community. He also holds the distinction of being uncle to the late teenage recording artist Frankie J. Lymon. Evangelist Fred T. Lymon departed this life on March 28, 1984.

Following Fred Tom Lymon as Ministering Evangelist to the Robbins Church of Christ was Evangelist Norris Walker Foulkes. Brother Foulkes was born July 21, 1897, in Hickman County, Tennessee, to the parents of William and Josie Foulkes. As a young man he was baptized into the body of Christ at the Swan Creek Church of Christ in Hickman County, Tennessee. In the early 1930s, Norris W. Foulkes relocated to Chicago, Illinois, and formally placed membership at the State Street (Michigan Avenue) Church of Christ where his cousin Levi Kennedy, Jr., served as Minister. After a short period of time Foulkes relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he established a congregation. While in Pennsylvania, Foulkes preached and worked in the steel mills. However, due to an accident which resulted in severe burns, he returned to Chicago and to the Michigan Avenue Church of Christ.

In the year 1948, while laboring as Assistant Minister to the Michigan Avenue congregation, Norris W. Foulkes was commissioned by Levi Kennedy, Jr., to evangelize and stabilize the Lord’s visible kingdom in the Southwest suburban community of Robbins, Illinois. At this time Foulkes became the second African American Minister to serve the Robbins Church of Christ.

For several years the congregation worshipped at 139th Street and Claire Boulevard, in addition to other temporary locations before the property at 137th Street and Lawndale was purchased in 1952. The first building was erected at this location in the summer of 1952, with the assistance of a few dedicated men such as John Carpenter and John H. Wright who accompanied Norris Foulkes to Robbins, Illinois, from the Michigan Avenue congregation. In the year 1978, plans were implemented to construct a new edifice at the same location. The new building was completed in the spring of 1982, with a seating capacity of 300 including a balcony, a finished lower level with classrooms, modern kitchen equipment, and other state of the art facilities.

Evangelist Norris W. Foulkes had a profound love for the Word of God, especially the Greek New Testament. Because of his keen and in-depth knowledge of the Scripture, he was highly regarded throughout the brotherhood as a reliable resource on many questions regarding the book of Revelation. Distinguished preachers such as G. P. Holt, R. N. Hogan, Robert M. Woods, Jesse S. Pace, Levi Kennedy, Jr., John O. Williams, J. S. Winston and many others would often consult with Norris Walker Foulkes when it came to the “mystique of the Apocalypse.”

In the year 1984, after his retirement from pulpit responsibilities, Norris W. Foulkes served as Minister Emeritus and adviser to the Robbins Church of Christ until his death on June 9, 1987.


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