ABOUT US

OUR VISION

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

WHAT WE DO

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OUR COMMUNITY

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The History of Peace United Church of Christ

1870 - 2020


In May 1870, five years following the Civil War, during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, a small group of German immigrants came together to form a Church in Jerseyville, Illinois. “Deutsche Evangelische Friedens Germeinde” or “Evangelical Society of the Church of Peace” was established with a congregation of 33 people.


In 1875, under the leadership of the second pastor, Rev W.G. Weissinger, the first constitution was written and the name of the church became “Deutsche Evangelical Friedens Germeinde (Evangelical Society of the Church of Peace).

In 1934, the congregation joined the Evangelical Synod of North America and became “Church of Peace Evangelical and Reformed”. Following mergers that resulted in the formation of the Evangelical and Reformed church, then the founding of the United Church of Christ, the congregation became “Peace United Church of Christ in 1957. Throughout its history “Peace” has always been a part of the church’s name.

On May 5, 1870, records show that the property where the old Church stood was purchased for $300 from the German Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Anton Michael was the first pastor.

All services and Confirmation instructions were conducted in German. One of the requirements for membership on the Church Council was that the person is thrifty. The pastor in addition to his regular pastoral duties was to conduct a German School, for which he was paid 50 cents a month for each child. The first mention of Pastor’s Salary was when Rev. Ballhorn was hired in 1896 for $300 a year with free use of a Parsonage.

At a congregational meeting on April 3, 1887, it was unanimously decided that the Church of Peace would formally join the Evangelical Synod of North America.

May 1, 1876, the Ladies Aid Society was formed, and in 1891 a young people’s Society was organized.

The first building on the site of the old Church was a wooden frame building that had been moved there from another location. On April 5, 1896, the Church council, upon the initiative of a motion by Charles Neumeyer, decided that a new church should be built. During the construction of the church, services were held in the present city hall. The present parsonage located directly behind the Church was constructed during the pastorate of Rev. Carl R. Hempel in 1908.

Peace Church’s history has been marked by challenges and changes while remaining faithful to its Protestant Roots in Biblical Authority. There was the transition from being a German-speaking congregation to becoming an English-speaking congregation in the early years of the twentieth century.

In the 1930s the church fell upon hard economic times and membership dwindled to four members. Having no Pastor, and not being able to meet its expenses, the Parsonage was rented out and even the Church itself was rented to a Lutheran Congregation for $10 dollars per month. and Peace church almost closed its doors.

With the help of Fieldon United Church of Christ, however, Peace Church began again. Peace Church has been yoked with its sister church, Fieldon United Church of Christ, at different times in history.

The resurgence began under Rev. Todd in the late 1930s and continued to grow under the leadership of Rev. Huber. An extensive remodeling program began in the old Church and many improvements were made.

Some of the notable achievements which began at that time were the pine-paneling and new floor in the church basement, kitchen renovation and modernization, new church heating plant, new Wicks pipe-organ, sanctuary repainting and renovation with stained glass windows.

Increased Sunday school attendance brought about the need for more space and under the Pastorate of Rev. Gerald Bock, the Expansion Fund was started. Its purpose at that time was to provide more educational facilities which it did by purchasing a new Parsonage in Oakwood Acres and the transformation of the old Parsonage into a Christian Education Building.

After the Parsonage was paid for it was voted to continue the Expansion Fund and change its name to the Building Fund. This then became the source of funds for the purchase of our land and the eventual building of our new Church. The old facility was land-locked, providing no room for growth.

Ground was broken for the new Church on Oct. 6, 1974. The Church was completed and was dedicated to the Glory of God on June 1, 1975. Peace Church moved from the facility on Carpenter Street to its present location at 23098 Glenda Avenue, in a subdivision just one mile west of Jerseyville. Thirty-eight pastors have been called and faithfully served the congregation.

Peace Church values and encompasses many ethnic and cultural traditions, including a deep commitment to education, health care, and civil rights. The United Church of Christ was at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement before, during, and after the Civil War.

Along with the ministry of worship and Christian Education, Peace Church participates in the broader ministry of the United Church of Christ through Our Church’s Wider Mission and in local ministry through active involvement in the Jersey County Ministerial Alliance. Throughout its history, Peace Church has actively supported various UCC agencies in the area, including Eden Theological Seminary, Hoyleton Children’s Home, Kindercottage, Church of the Good Shepherd in East St. Louis, and DuBois Center. Peace Church offers its facility for various community events including a multi-denomination weekly men’s gathering, the JCHS Homecoming Spirit Committee, the Jerseyville Rotary, 4-H, and various scouting organizations.

Peace Church shares an annual Thanksgiving meal with our sister church in Fieldon and sponsors our Spring and Fall luncheons. Peace Church provides Sunday school each Sunday for children and adults and joins in Fellowship prior to Sunday service with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and donuts.

Peace United Church of Christ publishes a monthly newsletter to keep everyone abreast of new happenings with The Church Council and other committees, upcoming events, the prayer list, and birthday and anniversaries.

At 150 years of age, the congregation of Peace Church looks to our past with gratitude to God, our present within Jesus Christ, and our future with hope as continue to seek to abide in the Holy Spirit Who empowers us to be Jesus’ Church.

 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

 

 

ADDRESS

23098 Glenda Ave.

Jerseyville, IL 62052

(618) 498-2262

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