Galesburg Church on Most Endangered Historic List

GALESBURG, Illinois-- The Central Congregational Church sits in the center of Galesburg, it's been there for more than a century.

According to Church members it was built in 1848, and has served the community as a place of worship and events.

On Thursday afternoon, construction workers restored one of the church's stained glass windows. Church Moderator Ann Ehler, said it's just one thing on a long to-do list.

"We have the oldest boiler East of the Mississippi," said Ehler, also adding the church also has a leaky roof, chipped paint and dozens of other stained glass windows still need to be restored.

Due to declining membership the congregation has struggled to take care of the building. That has lead to lack of funding for maintenance and repairs.

The condition of the building, as well as being on the National Register of Historic places put them on a 2018 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois. 

If the repairs don't get fixed it could possibly lead to the church closing down.

"We're trying to avoid that for certain. Being endangered means that there are repairs that go beyond (...) of what we're able to handle," said Ehler.

Both Ehler and Reverand Sterret Collins agree there is a silver lining to being on the list, saying it's brought attention to the church's needs.

For now the church is working on applying for grants to buy a new boiler. They've also set up a donation fund to help fix repairs in the church.