The first recorded minutes of what would eventually be Eden United Church of Christ were dated August 2, 1868. They were written by a small German-speaking congregation that originally met at a Baptist Church built in 1833, on the site of the present City Hall.
The first minutes instructed a committee to purchase land and make plans for a new church building. A site was purchased on the corner of Second and Fourth Streets for $750, and a new church was built at a cost of $4,945 in 1869.
During the 1920s, the growing congregation felt the need for larger quarters, and after Easter in 1926, the old church was torn down and on March 27, 1927, the new Eden Church was dedicated. Eden was one of the largest churches in Edwardsville.
On December 14, 1941, one week after the attack on Pearl Harbor, fire did extensive damage to the church. On the next Sunday, however, the congregation was back in the church for services.
During the rebuilding, the choir loft was lowered, the organ chambers redesigned, and the rose window was installed, replacing two smaller windows in the choir loft.
Since those early years, Eden has grown in membership and in its scope of ministries. Our educational ministries grew tremendously with the addition of the Educational building, and again with the new administration and classroom expansion of 2003.
Eden has always been a church that is focused on community outreach. Over the years, we have provided space for the Edwardsville Senior Citizen Center, gave birth to a new church in Glen Carbon, established Eden Village, and opened Eden Child Care.
This is our legacy, God has more yet in store for us.
For information about the Architecture of Eden UCC, visit Architecture and Symbolism.
Important Dates in the Life of Eden
August 9, 1868 - Land for the present church building purchased for $750.
November 8, 1868 - Bids were opened and a contract was awarded to Gottlieb Rohrkaste to erect a brick church building for $4,945.
July, 1877 - A brick parsonage was completed, costing $1,150.
February 2, 1881 - Women's Guild formed, oldest organization of Eden.
1890 - 18' x 28' schoolhouse was build for school and activities.
January, 1909 - Pastor was given permission to have a confirmation class in English.
1923 - Second Street in front of church was paved and paid for by the Sunday School
April 1, 1927 - Sanctuary dedicated. Cost $107,437.
1927 - New Wick's organ purchased for $4,800.
January, 1931 - Church constitution revised and women and all confirmed members of 21 years or over were given the right to vote.
1933 - Schoolhouse remodeled into a bowling alley.
1938 - All regular services conducted in English. Good Friday morning services still held in German until early 1950s.
December 14, 1941 - Fire damaged church building.
April 27, 1958 - Educational Building dedicated. Cost $325,000.
March 14, 1973 - Rohrkast Dairy property purchased for $55,000. Still leased to Senior Citizen Center at $1 per year.
November 10, 1974 - "The Well" built in Cottonwood as outreach.
1974 - "The Tree House" preschool program began in Edwardsville, moved to The Well in 1975.
May, 1979 - Eden Village Retirement Community opened with Apartments, Duplex Homes, and skilled nursing Care Center.
September, 1983 - Children's Garden Preschool began, "KEYS" program added in 1985, day care in 1986.
Summer, 1983 - Elevator installed in church.
October, 1989 - Eden Childcare Center opened in Glen Carbon.
June, 1991 - The Well organized as UCC congregation in 1983. Building turned over to that congregation.
September, 1992 - Eden began Contemporary Worship Service.
April, 1993 - Hoyleton Youth & Family Services used the parsonage at $1 per year.
1997 - LOGOS program began with midweek sessions.
1998 - The Therapy Center & Alzheimer's Unit of Eden Village opened, along with extensive remodeling & office expansion.
May, 1998 - Faith in Action received start-up grant and began with five volunteers and one care receiver.
January, 2002 - Foundations of Ministry capital campaign begins to raise $3 million for building expansion.
June 15, 2003 - Administration / Classroom Building Dedication