By Bob Kelsheimer
On Sunday, October 1, 2023, Little Grove Christian Church will be celebrating its 185th anniversary.
During the 1830s, several families moved westward from Indiana to Southern Illinois, planting non-denominational churches whose beliefs parallel the beliefs of the New Testament church. Some of these families settled land in what would eventually become northern Jefferson County and southern Marion County. The Old Goshen Trail, which ran from Shawneetown to Edwardsville, was one of only a few roads in Southern Illinois. Robert Breeze gave up some of his land located on the Old Goshen Trail. And in 1838 a new Church of Christ, the third oldest west of the Wabash River, was born. It was called Grand Prairie Church until 1844, when the name was changed to Little Grove.
In 1870, the members of Little Grove decided to replace their log structure with a new building that was a little more secure. That building is the present-day auditorium. It cost $1,895 to build. Repairs and minor changes to the building occurred throughout the next eighty years. In 1951, Little Grove added a basement, which contained a kitchen, bathrooms, classrooms, and storage. Renovations inside and outside of the church building occurred in 1970. It was during this time period that the large rock cross was added to the front of the building. In 2006, a fellowship hall, which contained bathrooms, a kitchen, and a large area for classrooms and fellowship was added. In 2010, renovations were made to the auditorium. In 2013 a new addition to the south side of the building was added containing a nursery.
Some of the ministers who have served the church include James Snow, John Ashley, David Chance, John Williams, Guy Parsons, J.E. Story, Dewey Hawkins, Merle Melton, Joe Putnam, and Richard Daniels.
On Sunday, October 1, 2023, Little Grove Christian Church will be celebrating its 185th anniversary and invites all to help celebrate this milestone. Chuch service begins at 10 a.m. with Sunday School at 9 a.m. There is a fully staffed nursery and junior church service as well, including Brett Copple, Bob Williams, George Ansley, Jim Burleyson, and many others. For the past 23 years, Lance Boldt has been the minister of Little Grove.
Surrounded by fields and one of Southern Illinois’ oldest cemeteries, Little Grove prides itself in its country roots, but more importantly, in its faith in the Lord. Anchored in God’s Word, Little Grove is one that is not afraid to preach the Bible, even in a politically correct society. But we preach the truth in love—loving the sinner and hating the sin. We believe that the Bible holds all of God’s will for how we get right with Him and how we are to practice the Christian life. The Apostles took Christ’s words and shared them with the world. And we understand the Great Commission and make it our duty to share Christ with those who are lost around us. We structure our church services similarly to the original New Testament church as stated in Acts 2:42 — we teach, pray, enjoy fellowship, and serve communion each Sunday. Little Grove broadcasts its services on Facebook to the entire world.
Little Grove Church
Pastor Lance Boldt