Members keep old church standing strong

Local News

SIDNEY, Ill. (WCIA) – A church in Champaign County has a 163 year legacy, still going strong.

The members attribute that to the strength and dedication of the congregation.

Mother Jessie Bauling, and daughter Alana Bennett are faithful members of the Sidney Christian Church.

“It’s home to me,” said Bauling. “I’ve spent a lot of years here, since 52. Here just about every sunday, unless I was sick. The girls were too.”

Even though Bennett didn’t have much of a choice about that when she was younger, she wouldn’t choose anything differently now. She’s worn many hats there.

“I am part of the worship team. I play the piano. I also sing. I’m also the church janitor…been doing that for about 30 years,” said Bennett.

The wooden walls and colorful stained glass windows give the church a rustic charm.

Looks aside though, these members told me what’s truly special is the dedication of the congregation.

“We just love each other and are very giving people. We do a lot of things for a lot of people,” said Bennett.

Especially Bauling’s husband…

When the church was reconstructed, he helped lay the foundation for the next era.

“In 1988, he worked here every day, except 5, for the whole year,” said Bauling, “and that’s when I forced him to take a few days off.”

It’s clear the love for this church isn’t just within and around these walls.

“We had a 150th celebration in 2006, where all kinds of past members came…just getting to see old faces again.”

The strength of service binding members together in faith in our town Sidney carries with them through the years.

Jessie Bauling told us all of her daughters were married at this church.

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