History

Coal Creek Bible Church is a small, country church that has its roots deeply planted in the community. It is a friendly and relaxed church that welcomes people of all ages. Part of the charm at Coal Creek is the family-like atmosphere. There are a few families that have three generations worshipping together. We meet for Sunday School and morning services, and Sunday and Wednesday nights are for teaching and Bible Studies.

The origin of Coal Creek Bible Church was a burden and vision the Lord gave to Mr. Lyman Morey. He was awakened early one morning with a burden of prayer for an independent, fundamental testimony in the rural community. A desire was born to do something about it. In October 1951 the doors of the church were opened for the first meeting of the Coal Creek Bible Church and Sunday School. There were thirty-three people present. His son is currently an elder of the church and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren attend when possible.

Coal Creek Bible Church’s building has a rich history as well. Originally it was built for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1866. The timbers were hand-hewn with an ax, and the church pews (still in use) were made by the people of the community. The Lutheran Church needed help building the church and made an agreement with the local United Brethren people. The agreement was if they helped erect the building they could use it for their services at a different hour on Sunday. They shared the building for two years until it was decided there wasn’t enough room for two denominations under one roof. Eventually, the Lutheran church declined and closed its doors before the close of the century. In October, 1951 when Coal Creek Bible Church opened there was great joy and blessing that the Gospel was going forth from this neighborhood again.

In the past fifty-four years at Coal Creek there have been some changes. The coal mines have closed. Women don’t wear hats to church anymore and men don’t wear the mandatory suits and ties. There are less farming families and more men and women working in town. However, some things have remained the same; we still have an occasional child crawling under the pews, we have delicious potlucks and good times of fellowship. The roar of spontaneous laughter is a common event when we come together as a congregation. We continue to support one another as we move through the trials of life.

Coal Creek continues to be a testimony in the area. We are a large supporter of the local Pregnancy Resource Center, with ladies that volunteer there. One week each summer we hold Vacation Bible School for the local children. We are members of Faith Bible Camp and help to promote the work they do there all year long, as well as help with the physical upkeep of the camp. Our older youth are camp counselors, some parents serve as cabin parents when needed, and we serve as cooks on a regular basis. We have a Kid’s Club at the grade school that shares the Gospel with Kindergarteners through sixth grade on Wednesday nights. We have a family that hosts a youth group for teenagers at their home. We have a Ladies Bible Study that draws women from the community as well.

Coal Creek has its annual events for the congregation as well as for friends and neighbors. We have a hot dog roast and a football game in the fall. We rent a local outdoor pool for an evening in the summer and pack the place. We go as a group to watch a Peoria Chiefs baseball game. Every year we host a Mother-Daughter Banquet and a Father-Son Banquet. We canoe down the Spoon River at the end of each summer. In the winter we rent many lanes at the bowling alley, and rent the gym and pool at the YMCA. All the ladies look forward to the annual Christmas party. We have a party to welcome in the New Year at the public school. When we have a good amount of snow, a family will host a sledding day for all the young at heart. One of the most favorite events of the year for the adults is the “Truly Wed” game we play at our annual Valentine dinner.

Coal Creek Bible Church is a little, white chapel that sits in the middle of corn and bean fields. Though small, the people have a huge love for the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to serve Him daily. Seeking and serving the Lord is what unites the saints and continues to make Coal Creek Bible Church a testimony in the community. It is our prayer to remain the bright light in the darkness for the next fifty years.

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