Our History

On March 15, 1991, 14 members formed the Illinois Valley Evangelical Free Church.   In the beginning days, the church services and Bible studies were hosted at the Ottawa YMCA. On June 7, 1992, the church called its first pastor. In the following month of 1992, the church moved to TV 35 to host services on Stevenson Road in Ottawa. Services were held at this location for about two years before moving to a permanent location on 215 West Washington in Ottawa. The church purchased the building from the Knights of Columbus. 

In 2014, IVEFC sold its downtown building and purchased its current property at 1611 Adams Street from a closed Lutheran church. The new facility provided the church acreage and building space to expand its vision for reaching the area with the gospel.  IVEFC has focused on children, youth, and other adult discipleship groups for the last three decades.  

From 2016-2018, the church began a rapid decline. The servant board and congregation met to discuss what action should follow. A desire grew from the existing members for the church to continue, but a focus on a replanting strategy should be modeled. The church voted to replant and come under the care of the Great Lakes District EFCA in 2018. In May 2019, the Church and the denomination called for a new pastor.  River Valley Church launched in August 2019.