First Christian Church

Our History: 1845 - Present

church 1855First Christian Church was organized in 1845, the same year that the city of Peoria, Illinois, was organized. Twelve dedicated Christians gathered together in members' homes, their purpose, to advance the principles of Christianity in the city of Peoria. They were known commonly as "members of the Christian Church".

church in 1875The church's first permanent home was built in 1854 on a lot at 7th and Franklin and was occupied for the first time in Feb. 1855. It was named the Christian Chapel. Through its 155 years, it has known 5 homes on 4 locations, moving to its present home in 1974. Its name has changed 4 times - The Christian Chapel, Church of Christ, Central Christian Church and finally First Christian Church.

church in 1895


From its early history in the 1920's, First Christian had sought to spread the Good News throughout the city by way of new churches erected in various parts of the city. This was the dream of its long-time minister, Cecil C. Carpenter, who envisioned the church expanding around the city of Peoria in additional congregations and to that end, members were dismissed to join and assist the new churches. As a result of this dream, 6 churches have been added in the Peoria area.

churchQuoting from Rev. David Nash's introduction to the churc's history "On the grand, eternal scale, 150 years is not a long time. However, in this era which prizes the fast and meteoric, fifteen decades of ministry is an impressive testimony. In 1845, who could have guessed that our twelve spiritual forebears, gathered in faithful response to the Gospel, would eventually birth another six congregations? Who could have known that these twelve were beginning an important ministry of worship, service and witness which would span over a century and a half?"



In the Mission Statement of First Christian Church God calls us to:

  • Become a Christ-centered community where all are unconditionally loved, accepted, and respected. (James 1:19; John 13:34 & 35)
  • Embrace a hunger for Christ's Word through worship, study, and sharing our personal faith relationship with Christ. (John 6:35; II Timothy 3:16)
  • Serve others as Christ serves us. (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5)
  • Together