Churchgoers remember a lifetime of services as Pekin church closes after 145 years

Local News

PEKIN, Ill. — A Pekin church is soon closing its doors, after 145 years of services, leaving an impact on many in the area.

On Sunday, the Second Reformed church in Pekin was filled with song and worship.

“It’s not Sunday if you don’t come to church,” said Grace Durham, a lifelong member at Second Reformed.

But next month, it will be quiet, and the church will hold its final service.

“We’re just plugging along as usual is what we’re going for now, and then after the 24th, well then the doors are closed,” said Paul Sims, a deacon.

Those who grew up in Second Reformed remember days spent in Sunday school.

“It’s different than what it used to be, you know, but I have memories that they can’t take away from me,” said Durham.

They’ve seen a lifetime of services here, and will soon see the last.

“For some of us it’s hit, for some of us it’s been a little bit of a longtime coming, but it’s sad. A lot of us are sad, but a lot of us are kind of going through the grieving process,” said Sims.

Many say they’ll miss the community the most.

“They’re always there for you when you need them, and we’ve had a lot of fun times in the basement with suppers and things like that,” said Ruth Desutter, a lifelong member.

At one point, the church had almost 200 members. Now, it’s made up of about 30 people.

“We know each other by first name basis at this point,” said Sims.

Empty pews and low congregation numbers are causing the church to close, but make the experience a close gathering.

“I’ll miss all the people and the fellowship here,” said Desutter.

For now, those left will enjoy their time at Second Reformed, eventually, finding new churches.

“Life is changing, and you have to go along with the changes,” said Durham.

The final service at Second Reformed is Sunday, November 24.

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