History of the Clinton Presbyterian Church

Although a detailed history of the CPC was published for the 150th Celebration of the church, the following is a brief synopsis.

A Church Begins:

On July 23, 1853 the first thirteen members (eight of them women), under the direction of the Presbytery of Peoria, organized the Clinton Presbyterian Church. In August of that year, the Rev. J.H. Moore, who also served the Randolph Grove Church, began his Clinton duties. For seven years Sunday services were held in the old school, the Court House, and what was then known as Warner and Lintner's Hall on the east side of the public square. Prayer and committee meetings were held in the school, and later in a rear room of the C.H. Moore law office.


The First Building:

In 1854, the lots on the northwest corner of North Madison and East Washington streets were purchased (for $250) for a new church building by moneys raised by the church women. The foundation was laid in 1858. That first building was completed and dedicated April 8, 1860 at a cost of $4,500.


The Lincoln Visit:

Abraham Lincoln came one evening to a church supper while attending court in Clinton. The stone slab Lincoln stepped on was eventually moved to the second and the current building. Reportedly, Miss Roberts, a teacher, offered to take his stovepipe hat. Mr. Lincoln declined the offer, stating he had some important papers in it.


The Second Building:

By 1885, the congregation had outgrown the church and it was decided to erect the second building on the same site. The 450 members began the building project in the spring of 1885. The dedication was held on October 11, 1885. Cost for the project was $15,395.62.


The Third & Present Building:

On June 10, 1902, a sever storm struck the city, and the tower of the church was blown down, damaging the rest of the church building. There had been at a time when the building space was becoming severely inadequate. It was decided that a new location would solve many problems. The property at the current location was purchased. The cost for the new building was $41,000.



More About Our History:

Lincoln Memorial:

On April 17, 1865, Clinton Presbyterian Church held a memorial service for the citizens of Clinton honoring President Lincoln.  One hundred and fifty years later, a cast performed an orginal one act play written by Helen Stites titled Remembering Lincoln.  Looking for more on Lincoln?  Follow this link to the Lincoln Heitage Committee of Clinton webpage with GPS coordianates to help you follow in the footsteps of Lincoln.  


1912 Hook & Hastings Pipe Organ:

In 2013, Clinton Presbyterian Church celebrated the 100th Birthday of a magnificent Hook and Hastings pipe organ in our sanctuary with a special worship service lead by principle organist Sharon Baker. 

(Check back soon watch to this beautiful concert and to see a sub-feature called "Behind the Pipes - A Look at the Hook in Hastings Pipe organ" produced by Ben Keller)



Our Story:

In 2012, tells the story of Clinton Presbyterian using orignal narration wirrten by Bill Kent and archival footage in a video presentation directed and produced by Ben Keller.



More about the church's history can be gathered by reading "Stone by Stone" the published history of the Clinton Presbyterian Church, written by William Kent. Please contact the church office if you would like to purchase a copy.

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