815-625- 6851  "The Church On The Hill" 3400 6th Ave, Sterling, IL

History of "The Church On The Hill"


The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), also known as "The Church On The Hill," has been a worshipping and witnessing church to this community for 138 years. The church has a glorious history and a vision for the future.

In May of 1874, the Missionary Board observed the need to select and organize a new church in Northern Illinois. Thus on June 18, 1875, in Central Park of Sterling, Illinois, a tent revival was held, and with the great Illinois Evangelist and hymn writer, Knowles Shaw, preaching, 19 charter members came together and a new church began. In these early days, the members met in private homes. As they grew, they met in a rented hall until the time came for a permanent house of worship. In 1915, a new structure was built on the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 6th Street in Sterling.

As the congregation continued to grow and space again became an issue, it became apparent that a new church building was needed. In 1967, a 5-acre tract of land on 6th Avenue was obtained. Under the leadership of Rev. Brace Johnson, construction began for the new church and parsonage and on March 31, 1968 the new building was dedicated.

Over the years, several missionaries and ministers have gone forth. The church has supported a day care ministry and thousands of people have heard the good news of Jesus Christ here "On the Hill." The future is bright for the First Christian Church and with God's help, we will continue finding new ways to serve God and His Church.