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About Us

OUR HISTORY

The Bersheba congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized January 19, 1834 by Rev. C.P. Jewel. The organization, which began with a membership of nine, took place at the home of John McCord in the southwestern part of Emmet Township, just East of Argyle State Park. The ministers supplying this congregation sacrificed much for the cause of Christ, traveling from great distances around the state. The church remained at the place of organization until 1854 when it moved to Argyle in the southeastern part of Hire Township.

On August 15, 1884 a petition was made to the Rushville Presbytery to change the name Bersheba to Argyle. The average church attendance at that time was 60.

In 1937 a basement was constructed under the church with members of the community doing the work. In June of 1956 the congregation purchased the Argyle school and converted it into a parsonage. In 1963, the church petitioned out of the Presbyterian denomination because of its inability to supply ministers. The congregation re-organized in January 1964 and became affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (now known as IFCA International), changing their name to Argyle Bible Church.

The first and founding pastor of ABC was the Rev. Ernest Louderman, who came to carry on the work by faith without any designated salary. Because of rapid growth, it became necessary for the church to expand facilities. The new addition was added to the west side of the church with students from the Western Illinois University industrial arts department designing the addition. Using materials from an old barn donated by Mrs. Hazel Zimmerman and an old house given by Clarence and Don Kleinkopf, members began construction of the addition in August 1968.

Again in 1981 the need for expansion arose and a second addition was built adding an additional 50 seats to the sanctuary. The church celebrated its 25th anniversary as Argyle Bible Church in 1987. As the course of events goes, the Lord led a neighbor to give the church the connecting seven acres of land west of the property. In 1995, extensive plans were developed to expand the church facility. Ground breaking for the expansion took place Sunday, September 8, 1996 and the new sanctuary was dedicated on Sunday, October 10, 1997.

Argyle Bible Church is the only remaining church still operating in Hire township, due in part to the faithfulness of its members and its pastors to remain true to the teachings of the Word of God, preaching the same Gospel of Jesus Christ as it did back in 1834 when pioneers to the area had a vision for the Gospel in their midst. For over 160 years, the doors of this church (Cumberland Bersheba Presbyterian Church, Argyle Presbyterian Church and now Argyle Bible Church) have remained open each Sunday shining forth as a beacon of righteousness in the surrounding community of West Central Illinois.

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