New Apostolic Christian Church in Morton replaces 'a great, great constructing' – Peoria Journal Star

MORTON — One of many latest church buildings in the village has a historical past that dates to the 19th century.

A brand new Morton Apostolic Christian Church constructing opened this 12 months at 2177 Veterans Street after church leaders made the guts-wrenching — however what they thought-about needed — choice to have the church constructing at 225 E. Jefferson St. torn down.

The East Jefferson website had been the church's non secular house for 150 years. Church buildings have been constructed there in 1867, 1891 and 1913.

The unique church constructing, a small white body construction, was lit by kerosene lamps that hung from the ceiling and had two eating rooms — one for males and one for girls.

There have been no screens on home windows. Flies have been chased away from meals with paper streamers connected to a protracted piece of wooden.

The 1891 church constructing had an premature ending. It was destroyed by an arson hearth Dec. 12, 2012.

A church was constructed in 1913 at a value of $50,000. It was renovated in 1957 and 1989.

Situated simply exterior Morton's downtown enterprise space and throughout the road from Jefferson Elementary College, the stately church constructing was one of many village's greatest-recognized landmarks.

"It was a great, great constructing," stated Tim Leman, a member of the church's board of trustees. "So many individuals had life experiences there, and it was a strong constructing for being greater than 100 years previous."

The issues with the 30,000-square-foot facility have been accessibility and performance, Leman stated. It had three flooring with an upstairs sanctuary. The constructing's elevator was previous. There was no single space for church-goers to collect earlier than or after companies. They scattered to a few spots.

The brand new church, additionally about 30,000 sq. ft, is a contemporary constructing with one flooring and loads of room for fellowship.

"There have been blended feelings about leaving the previous constructing," Leman stated. "However the transfer has been very satisfying. Everyone seems to be joyful concerning the new constructing. It is way more open and accessible."

The situation for the brand new church constructing was an apparent one. It is on the identical website because the church's Fellowship Corridor, and Timber Ridge Intermediate Care Facility, Oakwood Property and Linden Property group properties for individuals with psychological challenges.

"One huge campus," Leman stated.

The choice to have the church constructing on East Jefferson torn down wasn't a straightforward one, Leman stated, "however it needed to go."

Church officers did not desire a repeat of what occurred once they bought the Apostolic Christian Restmor nursing house on East Jefferson to a bunch of traders in 2008. A brand new Restmor was constructed at 1500 Parkside Ave.

The previous Restmor website turned a headache for the church when the vacant facility fell into disrepair. A number of years after the sale, the church was nonetheless receiving calls from individuals who blamed the church for the constructing's demise, regardless that the church now not owned it.

Church officers did not wish to take an opportunity of the identical drawback occurring with their beloved church constructing, regardless that the previous Restmor was bought to a growth firm and transformed into an unbiased dwelling group for adults ages 55 and older that opened final 12 months.

The church constructing website on East Jefferson is now owned by the village of Morton.

In a deal reached in 2015, the village paid $625,000 for the property. The village now owns three.2 acres of inexperienced area and greater than 200 parking spots in a busy part of city.

The Morton College District has 30 parking areas on the positioning. Jefferson College workers and guests use the parking spots through the college day.

The College District contributed $220,000 towards the $625,000 buy worth of the property.

The village used enterprise district gross sales tax and resort/motel tax income to pay for the positioning. No property tax income was used.

The church constructing was demolished earlier this 12 months. The inexperienced area was the placement of the Morton Pumpkin Competition craft truthful in September.

There are about 325 Morton Apostolic Church members. Leman stated about 350 folks recurrently attend companies on Sundays and quantity jumps to about 450 on holidays.

Different Apostolic Christian church buildings in central Illinois are situated in Peoria, Washington, Tremont, Eureka, Goodfield, Congerville, Roanoke, Bloomington, Gridley, Fairbury, Forrest and Urbana.

There are actually about 90 Apostolic Christian congregations in the USA, Japan, Mexico and Canada, and worship companies are performed on school campuses in a number of states.

Steve Stein could be reached at 686-3114 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Observe him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.

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New Apostolic Christian Church in Morton replaces 'a great, great constructing' - Peoria Journal Star