“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
Organized religion plays a major role in the culture of our Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin region. We enjoy highlighting places of worship, one in the country and one in the city, in each issue.
Country Church: Schapville Zion Presbyterian Church • Est. 1854
635 East Schapville Road, Elizabeth, Ill., (815) 845-2272, schapvillezion.org
This congregation was organized in 1854 by The Rev. Andrew Kolb and the Presbytery of Rock River.
The original church was a log structure built on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Winter. The deed, dated May 15, 1861, bears the name, “Old School Presbyterian Church of Mill Creek.” This building and churchyard occupied the land directly behind the present church.
Construction on the present church in Schapville began in June 1886; then called the German Presbyterian Church, it was dedicated in October 1886, and the new church bell rang for the first time in November. In 1925, the church was incorporated under “Schapville Zion Presbyterian Church.”
A fellowship hall and basement were added in 1926. The entire church was redecorated in 1942, and the Ladies Aid Society paid for a life-sized image of Christ in Gethsemane to be painted in the sanctuary.
In 1948 new stained glass windows were installed in the Sanctuary, and in 1953, the church sanctuary and narthex were redecorated with new wood.
In 2006 the stain glass windows were repaired and given a protective cover.
The current congregation is led by Pastor Dottie Morizzo. Sunday worship is held at 10 a.m., with children’s Sunday School conducted at the same time. A nursery is also available during church service. ❚
City Church: Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church • Est. 1838
211 S. Peoria St., Dixon, Ill. (815) 288-2151, stlukedixon.org
The first Episcopalian services in Dixon were held in 1837 by The Rev. Philander Chase, Bishop of Illinois.
The Episcopal Church of Saint Luke, Dixon, was founded in 1838, but some eighteen years would pass before parish members erected their first house of worship. The small, frame building was dedicated in the summer of 1856.
In 1869, a new stone church was planned; construction was completed in 1871. The cornerstone was laid that October, and it contains a Bible, a Book of Common Prayer and other ephemera. The building was consecrated on St. Luke’s Day, October 18, 1872.
The high altar of St. Luke’s features a Christ window original to the 1871 building. A Hook and Hastings pipe organ was purchased and installed in 1885.
A fire on Oct. 25, 1935, gutted the interior and the congregation was without a church for almost a year.
The new interior of the building was redesigned and decorated to more closely emulate the Gothic exterior of the church. At a cost of nearly $30,000, a new altar with reredos of carved wood was constructed and installed.
In 1948, organ builder Hubert Howell donated an organ that has 102 ranks, with great, swell, choir, solo, and pedal divisions, which is one of the largest in the state.
Pastors Adam Linton and Zerna Faire hold Morning Prayer at 8:30 on Sundays, with Eucharist at 10:15, followed by coffee and fellowship. Sunday School is at 10 a.m. Morning and evening prayers during the week are held Monday through Thursday, at 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ❚