Farming communities began to spring up in central Illinois after the Civil War. With each new town came new opportunities to preach the Gospel. Shortly after the founding of Benson in the 1870s, Christians began to organize home Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and prayer meetings. By 1888, there was a group of believers who united to form Benson Baptist Church with 26 charter members. Over the years, a succession of more than 30 pastors have ministered to our congregation.
The church has always been located at the corner of Pleasant Street and Clayton Street in Benson, Illinois. However, God has enabled the congregation to improve and enlarge their facilities over the years. In 1902, the church built a parsonage at 412 Pleasant Street to provide housing for the pastor and his family. As the congregation grew, so did the need for more space to minister. In 1903, the church building was lifted off its foundation so a basement could be added. By mid-century, more space was needed for activities and fellowship. In 1970, the Christian Education Building was added. It included a new kitchen and plenty of room for potluck dinners, children’s activities, and special events. In recent years, we installed air conditioning in the auditorium and added new media technology.
However, the purpose of a church goes beyond brick and mortar. It focuses on people. Throughout our history, the Lord has saved souls and changed lives through the preaching of the Gospel in this rural community. Today, God continues to transform individuals and families. We gather several times each week to address the spiritual needs that we all face. More than a religious organization, we are a spiritual family that bears one another’s burdens as we seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:2; 2 Peter 3:18).
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