of the Metamora Christian Union Church
The first Metamora
Christian Union Church began in 1855 in a church built by the
Methodists. There were five Protestant churches in the area with
low memberships and it was difficult for any of these to have a full
time minister. It was thought that if they would merge together
they could be better served. So in 1872 the Methodists and the
Congregational Churches united. In the next few years the remaining
churches, Episcopal, Christian (Disciples) and American Baptist also
joined together. In 1878 those united congregations formally were
called the Metamora Christian Union Church.
After sixty–six years
of service the old building was one of Metamora’s landmarks. In 1922
they decided to build a new edifice. The wrecking crew found that
the old building was in almost perfect state of preservation,
barring the dry rotting of floor supports. It was built of
native burned bricks, the outside layer being of specially hard
burned brick. The ceiling stringers were hand shaped oak
logs, forty feet long and the truss-work and roof were hand sawed
oak lumber, sawed at the Parks Mill just north of Metamora. The
church was patterned after one built at Varna a few years earlier.
During the process of
building the new Christian Union Church they engaged the use
of the building of the congregation of the Reformed Church, which
had but few families and held services at irregular intervals. This
building was formerly the Baptist Church organized in 1850. That
church was built and opened for worship in 1854. The new church was
built on the site of the old church on South Hanover Street.
Additional classrooms were added later.
On September 20, 1981 a
new church was dedicated on donated land on W. Walnut Street at
Illinois Route 116 and the Metamora Washington blacktop. The church
today, a l18,700 square-foot structure includes a fellowship
hall, 17 classrooms, sanctuary seating for 350 people, and
Another endeavor of the
church was Camp Wildwood. In 1960 land donated by the Ronald Dyar
Family the basis for the camp began. The facilities of which were
expanded in 2002.
1960 was also the year
that Christ Church in Germantown Hills was established as a mission
Photos and history submitted by Shirley Adams.