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W94-1188. Illinois, Peoria. Christ Community Church. Records, 1871-1994. 11.00 linear ft. PARTIALLY RESTRICTED

 Collection
Identifier: W94-1188

Scope and Contents

This collection ranges in date from 1871 through 1994. There are several different components, including the original cornerstone box and its contents from 1904, brochures of different churches and organizations and correspondences both personal and professional, concerning the building of the church in 1950, baptisms, transfers, dismissals, the hiring of new pastors, as well as other topics. There are documents including bills, receipts, and real estate maps. Also, there are records of attendance and disbursement for church, Sunday School, and various clubs. Financial records in monthly and yearly form are also in the collection. The photographs in the collection are mostly undated from the late 19th and early 20th century, and are of youth groups and other clubs. The more modern images are of the dedication of the church building in 1950.

The collection is organized alphabetically, with chronological order within the boxes. The photographs, as well as books and documents that are too large, are in separate boxes. Additionally, there are two large baptismal certificates and the contents of the 1904 cornerstone box in the Box 7.

Dates

  • 1871 - 1994

History

The congregation was formed in 1869, upon the immigration of many Europeans to Peoria, Illinois. It met informally, with much discouragement, as they had no regular pulpit supply or a house of worship. In 1871, they called Rev. Claus Wieland to the pastorate and a definite membership list was made up. In 1872, under John Muller, a Sunday School was set up, as well as a parochial school. In 1902, the old brick building in which they had been meeting was sold, in turn a new church was built. At this point, there were several clubs in existence, including the Dorcas Society, Ladies Aid, and the Men’s League. In 1942, a housing project was built for low income families in the neighborhood adjoining the church. Although this seemed to be an exciting prospect for the church in terms of ministry opportunities, the result was less promising than expected. The church building was purchased by an African-American congregation in 1945, but due to the increase in building costs following WW II, First Reformed met in the local G.A.R. hall. In 1950, under Rev. Warren Hietbrink, a new church building was erected. In 1977, with Rev. Stanley Hagemeyer as the pastor, the church was renamed Christ Community Church. A noticeable decline in membership occurred, partially caused by the downsizing of Caterpillar Corporation, a local employer. In 1993, several families that provided leadership relocated to other cities due to job transfers. The culmination of this, along with the diminished congregation, led to the unanimous decision in 1994 to disband the church. The first church in the town of the Reformed faith, this church had its origins in several European backgrounds, predominately German and Dutch. It did, despite its end, remain faithful to the proclamation of the Good News for Jesus Christ for 125 years. (From “First Reformed Church” by Richard G. Elzinga and John Haverhals).

Extent

11.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Dutch; Flemish

German

Abstract

The records of the German Reformed Church/Christ Community Church of Peoria, Illinois, include the original cornerstone box and its contents from 1904, records of the consistory, elders meetings, Ladies Aid, Sunday School, Euodia Club, Fidelis Club, Womens Guild, Mission Band, Young Peoples Club, among others. It covers the time period from 1871, at the start of the church, to 1994, which marks the end. Several documents from the earlier years are in German and/or Dutch. Pastors include Claus Wieland, John Muller, Helmer Smidt, G. Zindler, G. Schnucker, Reeverts, A. Wubbena, G. Mennenga, I. Lubbers, Richard G. Elzinga, Arend TePaske, Warren Hietbrink, Murray Stienkamp, Percy Kinkema, Richard Huizinga, Stanley Hagemeyer, Craig Wagner, Gil Visser and Michael Wiersema. Detailed Collection Register available.

Photographs

13 images (Box 7)

Provenance

German Reformed Church/Christ Community Church
Status
Completed
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Joint Archives of Holland Repository

Contact:
Theil Research Center
9 East 10th Street
Holland Michigan 49423 United States
616-395-7798