Events at Central during 2016 Railroad Days

Central Church is delighted to be participating in the exciting events to be held during the 39th Annual Galesburg Railroad Days.  All of our activities will be held on Saturday, June 25. We hope you can attend these outstanding events.


11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Have lunch with us! Burgers and brats, sides and beverage.  Seating provided.  All proceeds go towards preservation of our historic building.


Railroading in the Prairie State
The Origin of Illinois Railroads: Failure to Triumph
Auditorium, 10:30 a.m.

Illinois Railroads in the Twentieth Century: From Profits to Despair and Renaissance, Auditorium, 1:30 p.m.

corderyA rapid run through the colorful, surprising, and important history of the railroad industry in Illinois, from original failure to unprecedented success to near-extinction and then unexpected renaissance.  Part 1 at 10:30 a.m., Part 2 at 1:30 p.m.  A book signing will follow each presentation.Simon Cordery is the author of The Iron Road in the Prairie State: The Story of Illinois Railroading (Indiana University Press, 2016) and chair of the nominations committee of the National Railroad Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon

South Room, 12:00 noon

Mother Bickerdyke Day returns to Central!

Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, as portrayed by Pam Johnson, will be at Central Congregational Church on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Stories from her fascinating life will be told in a fast-paced presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.  Before and after the presentation, the South Room (parlor) of the church will be set up with living history displays of what was going on right here in Knox County during the Civil War.  Reenactors, all in period dress, will demonstrate some of the ways our town and  county supported the men and boys who were away at war.  Come and see how bedding, clothing and food were made, gathered and shipped to battlefields.  Learn about the personal items and mementos from home that the soldiers carried into battle.  You will learn about the role of horses, both at home and at war, and how the value of horses changed as the war went along.  Meet a Union army recruiter.  Talk with one of the townsfolk who took it upon himself to call on the families that the soldiers left behind, and hear how the town supported those loved ones.  Visit with Mary Allen West, as portrayed by Gail Masinda.  Songs from the Civil War era will be performed.  A bake sale, with proceeds to benefit the Central Church Preservation Fund, will be available.

The event is free and open to the public.


Carl Sandburg Festival

The month of April is packed with activities for the Sandburg Festival.  Of note for Central Church is the concert on Wednesday, April 27.  Proceeds from the evening will equally benefit the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Endowment and the Central Church Historic Building Preservation Fund.  For more details, check out the following sites.

Click this link to go to the Sandburg Festival site event page.  Scroll until you get to April 26.   (The date of the event is actually WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27!).  There are lots of great details of the event and presenters.  We hope to see you there!

Click this link to go to the Galesburg Register-Mail story that ran April 25 which gives a brief description of the remaining events.

Rev. Dr. Sterrett Collins, our new pastor!

Rev. Dr. Sterrett Collins was officially installed as pastor of Central Congregational Church on Sunday, April 3, 2016, in a worship service attended by family, friends and members of the church.  Rev. Collins first came to Galesburg as a student at Knox College.  We are delighted and thankful that his life journey has brought him back!

Click here to view a brief slideshow of photos from the service and reception.