The organization of the Christian Church in Hebron was an
outgrowth of religious meetings conducted by Lemuel Shortridge
in the public grove and in the old school house. Religious
excitement ran high in the summer and fall of 1877, for the
summer long revival had profound psychological effects on the
people of the community and imbued others with the desire to
establish a church after the plan of the New Testament.
This it was, that a group gathered for a meeting that organized
the Christian Church of Hebron, Indiana. This was done on
September 16, 1877 at Sweeney Hall. At this meeting the
following was unanimously adopted:
"Whereas the Christian Church of Hebron, Porter County, Indiana
(as respects the keeping of the ordinances) in a state of
suppression for some time past, and whereas the Lord by His word
and providence has called us to reorganization and recognition
of our duties; we whose names are hereunto subscribed do hereby
declare our intention, God being our helper, to unite together
as members of the "Church of God in Christ" to be guided, ruled,
and governed by the Apostles' teaching contained in the New
Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The first minister regularly employed was A.B. Maston whose
pastorate continued over a period of two years. It was during
his pastorate that the first house of worship was built in 1878
at a cost of $1,200.
From early years until 1911 a great many of the ministers served
half-time, but since 1911 the church has had full-time service.
Through the years since the beginning, when the church was
without a minister for whatever the cause, the Lord's Table was
always spread. Through the years with the various ministers many
meetings and revivals have been held with many accepting Christ
as their Savior. Almost from the first, youth work has been
encouraged along with worship services and Bible School. The
Missionary Society of the Christian Church was organized by H.
Williams who was the minister from 1926-1929. The missionary
work has steadily grown through the years until at the present
time twenty-five percent of the church's total budget goes to
missions. The church currently helps support 11 missions both
nationally and abroad.
In the spring of 1910 Mrs. Elsie Folsom and Mrs. Minnie Fehrman,
two of the remaining charter members, broke the sod for the
remodeling. The art windows in the auditorium were donated by
two sisters and a brother who lived on their farm west of town.
The south windows were from a retired farmer who had been an
invalid for years. The windows in the back of the sanctuary were
also donated by various families, the C.E. Group and the Ladies
Aid Society during the early years of the church. During the
services of Elmer Knots, 1920-1923, the section called the old
kitchen was added. While David Watterworth was minister,
1943-1947, another remodeling project was completed. In this
project the baptistery was moved from the where the Communion
Table presently sets to its present location, and the wall built
in front of it, a new heating system was also installed. The
ground was dug out and a basement installed under the kitchen
and under the Sunday School room. Two inside rest rooms were
Soon after this remodeling the need for more classrooms was
evident. A building fund project was started and encouraged.
This continued through the pastorates of Logan Dunham and Earl
Shaw. Finally in June 1959, with Robert Tinsky as minister, the
work was started. During that time the building was moved back
twenty feet. The entire basement was excavated, a new foundation
was put in place. The slanting floor in the auditorium was
removed and replaced with a level floor. The walls were repaired
and redecorated. New seats were placed in the auditorium. The
entire church floor was covered with tile. A fine grade entrance
was installed at the back, and the rest of the old kitchen was
made into a secretary's office and minister's study.
Two new restrooms were installed in the basement. Three
classrooms were constructed on the west end with a big storage
room and furnace room at the northwest corner. In the east end a
big kitchen was constructed with all new cupboards and plumbing.
A new heating system was installed.
The open basement is used for a worship center, fellowship hall
and classrooms. The basement has a completely new lighting
system. The church parsonage located to the east of the church
was completely remodeled in 1962-1962, and in 1964-1965 a
two-car garage was constructed at the rear of the parsonage.
During the ministry of Russell Tague, the sanctuary was once
again remodeled to its present design. In the mid 1980's, the
theater seats were replaced with cushioned pews, new carpeting
installed and the stage area enlarged.