St. Peter Evangelical United Church of Christ to close

After 118 years of worship at the corner of 21st Street and Cleveland Avenue in Granite City, an official vote of dissolution was taken May 19 to dissolve the congregation of St. Peter Evangelical United Church of Christ on Aug. 4. For the last number of years, membership has declined because of deaths and transfers, and it was decided a new mission should be in store for this location.

On Sunday, Dec. 1, 1901, a group of inspired evangelical Christians organized St. Peter Evangelical Church at the boarding house in the Big Four Building on the corner of 21st and “C” streets. On Dec. 8 of that year, the first worship service took place at Emerson School on 20th and “B” streets.

Learning of their plans, the Niedringhaus family donated the property upon which St. Peter Evangelical United Church of Christ has stood since 1903. It began as a mostly German-speaking congregation, with services conducted in German. The church was enlarged and remodeled in 1925, and an educational wing was added in 1957. The parsonage was built next door in 1910 and remodeled to include the pastor’s office in 1955.

St. Peter Evangelical United Church of Christ is best known for its annual sausage dinners, where more than 1,000 people were served each November, and its St. Peter School for the Young Years.

“All good things must come to an end, and the congregants are planning a jubilant celebration at their final worship service,” a press release states.

On Sunday, Aug. 4, all churches of the Illinois South Conference and past pastors are invited, as well as local churches and service agencies in Granite City and families and friends. The service will begin at 3 p.m., followed by a reception. The Illinois South Conference minister, Shanna Johnson, will deliver the final worship sermon.

St. Peter Church will not remain vacant for long: The Family Tree House (TWIGS and FIGS), now located at Stratford Lane and Maryville Road, will continue its expanded mission at 21st and Cleveland Avenue serving the children of the community with lunches on weekends during the school year and all summer at locations around the city, as well as serving lunch to seniors twice a month.

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