3530 Falling Springs Road Cahokia Heights, IL 62206
Our History

the maplewood church of christ

VBS 1950'S

Sometime in 1943: Our nation was engaged in World War II and gasoline was rationed. Consequently, many Christian families who were attending the Rosemont Church of Christ in East St. Louis, IL (later moved and became the State Street Church of Christ, then moved again due to interstate I-270 construction to Fairview Hgts, IL and is now the Fairview Hgts Church of Christ (relocated due to the I-270 interstate construction). had great difficulty,

November 26, 1943: President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that gas rationing would being in one week. On December 1, 1943 - gas rationing was enforced on all U.S. citizens. Even with car pooling, it became impossible to meet with the Christians during Rosemont Church designated services. As is often the case, adversity resulted in the scattering and growing of the Kingdom. Ten Christian families living in the Dupo and unincorporated Village of Maplewood Park (later annexed into the Village of Cahokia, which is now Cahokia Heights, IL) decided to start a new congregation to address the spiritual needs of local Christians. The result: The Maplewood Church of Christ congregation began.

November, 1943: Construction of a 36’ x 40’ basement structure was started by the men of the new congregation at a cost of $1,605.14 (or, $25,450 in 2022) on two lots that had cost $800.00 (or, $12,675 in 2022).

February 6, 1944: The Maplewood congregation was established and started with ten families living in Dupo and unincorporated Village of Maplewood Park (annexed later into the Village of Cahokia, now Cahokia Heights, IL). Most were members of the Rosemont Church of Christ which became State Street Church of Christ and now is the Fairview Hgts Church of Christ (a sister congregation relocated due to the I-270 interstate construction). Our nation was engaged in World War II and gasoline was rationed. Consequently, theses families had great difficulty, even with car pooling, in meeting with the Christians for all of the designated services. As is often the case, adversity resulted in the scattering and growing of the Kingdom. As a result, the Maplewood Church of Christ congregation started.

February 6, 1944: 117 attended the first worship service of the new Maplewood Church of Christ congregation. Bro. Otis J. Harmon delivered the sermon on that day. The contribution was $75.25 (or, $1,110 in 2022). Faithful Charter members are still attending services and instrumental to the work by this congregation today.

1947, Summer: Due to the new congregation growing and other utility needs, a 20-foot addition and oil-fired furnace was added to the 1944 construction. The work was done totally by the men of the congregation except for the laying of the block. This expanded the facility footprint to a 36' x 60' foundation structure. The total cost for this project was recorded at $2,200 (or, $27,500 in 2022).

August 15, 1949: Construction of an auditorium started. It was constructed on top of the 1944/1947 basement/foundation. The basement was converted into classrooms, toilets, and a fellowship area with kitchen. Framing of the auditorium was done by Walter Remelius, a contractor located in Dupo, IL. He completed the framing of the new auditorium in 90-days. Then the men of the congregation continued the work and completed the interior. The total cost for this construction was $13,000 (or, $152,300 in 2022).

1949/1950 New Auditorium: Monroe Harvey delivered the first sermon during the morning services that started at 10:45AM. A dedication service for the new building began later that day at 2:30PM after a basket luncheon. The dedication speaker was by Dr. O.J. Harmon of Collinsville, IL. The Maplewood Church of Christ Elders were E.C. Williams and C.W. Langwith. The Deacons were William Earhhart (Sr.) and C.G. Goodman. The 1949/1950 active membership was approximately 75.

March 8, 1950: The Maplewood Church of Christ incorporates under the State of Illinois Religious Corporation Act (805 ILCS 110/) as a Religious Corporation and officially named "Maplewood Church of Christ" by Affidavit. The original Trustee’s were Clarence Langwith, Elmer Williams, Bertran Douglas, and James Harris.

1951: The lot to the north, 3520 Falling Springs Road (across the street from the building) was purchased and the ministers home was constructed.

July 17, 1952: R.L. Thomas, minister, moved into the new home/parsonage.

1960-2963: During our next minister, Bro. Hampton's (1960-1963), the congregation outgrew the 1949 auditorium. The lots to the north of the 1949 campus, to Julian Avenue, was purchased for $3,200 (or, $29,800 in 2022).

May 11, 1961: C. Morris, Architect, was commissioned to design a new auditorium building for the congregation. The design would also include the renovation of the existing 1943/'44/'49 building into an educational building and a connecting breezeway. The design and plans were developed and finalized and issued for bids. The new auditorium seating capacity would be 525 and contain toilets, an entry foyer, a cryroom, and an enclosed breezeway connecting the renovated 1944 educational building to the new auditorium building The existing 1944 building became the Educational Building and was renovated to house classrooms, toilets, and a fellowship area with kitchen.

April 1, 1962: Grenkhahan Construction Co. was awarded the contract for the project. Construction started immediately. The project was overseen by a building committee consisting of Bertram C. Douglas (chairman), James A. Tolley, Wendall Williams, and David Sitze. Clareance Langwith and J.W. Austim were appointed later.

1963: Construction of the new auditorium was completed. Total contract cost was $139,000 (or, $1,266,500 in 2022). To cover the new construction and improvements (bricking fascade) to the 1949 building, a total loan of $146,000 (or, $1,330,000 in 2022) was secured with thirty-nine payments of $860.00/mnth (or, $8,225.00/mnth in 2022) and one final payment of $657.17 (or, $6,285.10 in 2022).

May 12, 1963 - Sunday: The first worship service held in the new auditorium. Robert C. Hampton, the minister at this time, delivered the first sermon.

June 2, 1963 - Sunday: A dedication service was held for the new auditorium. 288 attended the dedication. Membership at this time was approximately 200. Of these, 25 of those present that day too were charter members (original group) who first attended on February 6,1944.

1963-1967: During Milton E. Truex ministry (12/1963 - 2, 1967), the congregation continued to grow and the adjacent house and property to the south of the campus, at 3534 Falling Springs Rd, was purchased for $8,500 (or, $75,250 in 2022) to provide needed additional parking. The house was demolished and the needed additional parking was created.

February 28, 1982: The building program financing was totally paid. Total financed over approximately 20-years was $206,197.17 (or, $625,332.98 in 2022). Since this time, new heating and air conditioning units have been installed in both the 1949 and 1963 buildings in addition to many years of maintenance, repairs, and upgrades completed by brothers and sisters of the congregation.

Today, the Maplewood Church of Christ continues to serve Cahokia Heights (Cahokia/Centreville/Alorton, E. St. Louis, Dupo, and surrounding areas. We continue to grow in the Spirit and in the truth and power of God's Word - by the mercy and grace of God’s steadfast love. We strive to share this with those who are seeking to learn and know God and become a part of His Church as they were created to be - all through faith in Jesus Christ.

As we think upon how the Lord has worked through the Maplewood Church of Christ, it is only fitting and proper that we consider those whom He uses to labor among us then and still today.  A host of others, though not elders, deacons, or ministers at Maplewood, were used by God for encouragement, edification/teaching, serving, and sharing with our community the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ - his birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection! As time marches on there will no doubt be other changes in the Maplewood congregation and to these facilities. Only in eternity, where there will be no buildings like those that are built here, will all the works of God here at Maplewood be revealed.

2023: We continue, since 1944, to strive following in the footsteps of Jesus as we have learned to live from His teachings, the breaking of bread, the Apostles teachings all based upon the one command that is foundational to the Church: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I (Jesus) have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)