O.W. & Alice Allen were a Christian family living in Harvey in the early 1930’s. They began meeting for worship in their home. The Southwest Church of Christ in Blue Island gave them some song books and helped supply people to encourage the Allens. One of the elders from Blue Island would speak occasionally on Sunday mornings.
Brother Allen got permission to meet in the Arcade building on 154th in Harvey. The 1st service held there was October 17, 1943. The attendance was only 6 to 8 people. O.W. was described as a very humble man, as true and as full of faith as any other faithful Christian, but he did not have the support of his family. He would preach when no one else would come. They worshiped there a long while and then moved to the Odd Fellows Hall at 155th and Lexington in Harvey. Evard E. Hamilton was the 1st regular preacher. A succession of preachers followed, along with elders from different churches coming to fill the pulpit in between preachers.
In 1953 the Harvey church moved into its own building at 15021 Page Avenue. It was during the 4-year ministry of Joseph Brooks that elders were ordained, Foy Yates and John Driver became the 1st elders. On April 10, 1960, Ken Addison, Otto Joyner and Tom Riddle, Sr. became the 1st deacons of the Harvey church.
In 1961 Jack Plummer was preaching part time at Park Forest. When that church secured Jesse Clayton for full-time work, Jack was hired by the South Holland church on a part-time basis. There was not enough contribution to support him full-time. Jack came in December of ’61 and stayed until September of ’67. Around July of 1963, property on State Street in South Holland was purchased for the proposed construction on of a new church building. The present facility was first occupied in December, 1964.
One significant past annual event was the invitation of the children and staff of the Shultz-Lewis Children’s home to South Holland for a Thanksgiving meal.
In August, 1967, Peter Bumpass was hired to preach full-time. The church in South Holland received support from the Mayfair Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama, for Peter from September ’67 to July ’69. The church in South Holland helped to establish the church in Kewanee, IL, in 1969. We sent men regularly to fill the pulpit. We sponsored George Gurganus to go to Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, from, 1970-1976. On March 12, 1972, our services began being interpreted for the deaf. We sponsored Jim Scudder in Zambia, Africa, from 1971-1973.
We paid off the building October 1, 1978.
Our ladies have hosted a Ladies’ Day every fall since 1977. We built and maintained an emergency food pantry from 1986 until 2002, and have fed approximately 2400 people. We took the oversight of Exhibit Evangelism at the Springfield State Fair in 1987. In 1992, the church in East Peoria, Illinois, assumed the oversight of this work. We were also involved in a prison ministry in Joliet, Illinois, from 1973 until 2002.
Other areas of evangelism and benevolence over the past several years include support of workers in Dekalb (Illinois), Nigeria (Africa), Lubbock (Texas), Shults-Lewis Children’s Home, Guyana (South America), Exhibit Evangelism, Hands of Compassion (Rochester, MN), Rockford (Illinois), Scotland, Rogers City (Michigan), Jamaica, India, and Christian college scholarships for our graduating seniors.
We added a new addition onto our building in 1988. Our parking lot has been expanded to its limit.
We hosted current and former members at our 50th Anniversary in 1993 and then a 60th Anniversary in 2003.
The church in South Holland is a multi-racial congregation, composed primarily of hardworking people. We have an average attendance of 150 and a weekly budget of $2,370.00.