“Come to Christ, who is the living stone of God’s temple. He was rejected by the people, but he is precious to God who chose him. And now God is building you as living stones, into his spiritual temple, What’s more… you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2
Throughout Scripture, we see the Lord telling His people to build stone altars as a memorial to His works, lest they and we forget what the Lord has done. Here at Christ Church, Limestone, within our beloved Diocese of Quincy, we are working to repair and restore the church where God has been at work for almost 175 years, transforming us into the living stones spoken of in the passage above.
The first bishop of Illinois, The Rt. Reverend Philander Chase, consecrated Christ Church to the glory of God on 10 December, 1845. As one of the first settlement churches in the state, we are also one of the oldest congregations in the Diocese. Our beautiful stone building sits at the edge of Peoria County, next to one of the few remaining patches of forested prairie in central Illinois, and surrounded by the gently rolling fields of corn and soybeans that the rich soil here produces.
Our membership then was comprised of many immigrant families from England and Germany, who had come here looking for a better life – a fact that, incidentally, it is still true to this day! Our church was built by humble families such as the Clark’s, the Benson’s and the Norwood’s, who gathered funds even from the English monarchy in order to cut the stones and, laboring out of love for God, built a house in which to worship Him, a home where the Anglican tradition and faith have rung true ever since.
But as the Lord lives, we continue in striving to increase our ministry not solely based on our living in history; No! We are cemented in the fact that as members of the wider church we want to sincerely make history! And thus, here today we continue the work, holding fast to the Word of God, and being built into living stones.
For almost 175 years, Christ Church has been the spiritual home to more than 30 dedicated priests and countless generations of worshipers, some of which include the Rt. Rev. William L. Essex, fourth Bishop of Quincy, being laid to rest at our church’s own Graveyard.
The place where this kingdom-building work happens, however, is literally crumbling. It has weathered many storms and is in need of desperate repair. We hope that our Queen Victoria bell (cast at Troy, NY, in honor of her Jubilee) to sound the hours of prayer, will get to ring once again, at the completion of our renovation project. Since we have already begun the work of renovation inside the tower, we are still able to use the sanctuary.
We are asking all of you who read this to both join us in our efforts and to see the potential that lies within each congregation of our beloved Diocese! To help you in envisioning that which may allow you to achieve more, always beginning from the solid “Foundation” that is Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ Church, Limestone, has just embarked upon a capital campaign entitled Living Stones through which we hope to uphold our responsibility to preserve what has been entrusted to us by countless generations of believers in Christ, our true Rock.
Our goal is to reach $150,000 dollars in a three-year period, of which around $10,000 has already been raised. Time and weather have eroded the grout and tuck pointing that hold our stone church together, and this money will go to replace it and allow us to add a protective sealant, using a local company dedicated to the restoration of historic places. It will also allow us to do a much needed repair to the main access road to the church and parking lot. Any amount that you are able to give will be gladly received and if we all can give, even if in small amounts, we have faith that the Lord will provide everything that we need.
We know by faith that the Lord has made it possible for this church to stand the test of time, not just for the fact of its historicity, but because, as stones are being erected, faith is also being built, through Jesus Christ- our great foundation! PEACE~
Send donations to:
Christ Church Limestone
PO Box 224, Hanna City, IL 61356
You may also find us at:
Facebook: Christ Church Limestone “The Old Stone Church”
GoFundMe: Christ Church Limestone