East Bend Mennonite Church was founded in 1889 in the East Bend township of Champaign County, by farmers who settled on land about a mile north of the current building. They moved here from Tazwell County, IL in 1886. The first meeting place was the Dixon School house, which was located 1 1/2 miles to the north of the current building on County Road 700. There is still a sign there today delineating the location of the former school house. It didn’t take long for more families to move into this area, and for those families to grow.
In 1907 the original building of East Bend was built on the current location (3300N & 700E). By the mid 1930s and 1940s there was large congregation of worshipers here. The current building has undergone several different additions and upgrades over the years - from a basement being added, to the current sanctuary being built, to the offices to the north. The latest improvement was the addition of playground equipment in 2012.
East Bend has always had a heart for mission and outreach. We have supported missionaries around the globe over the years. In addition to this, East Bend has helped to plant several churches in the area, including the Dewey Community Church, the Arthur Mennonite Church, and First Mennonite Church in Urbana, IL.
God has a way of working good out of difficult situations. In 1952 there was a painful split in the East Bend Congregation. Approximately 200 people left the East Bend congregation and started attending the Gibson City Bible Church. We are thankful that the Bible Church is a thriving church and that even in the midst of adversity and pain, God works!
In 2015 the East Bend Membership voted to remove itself from the Mennonite Church USA Denomination. In 2017 East Bend chose to become a Partner Church with the Evana (Evangelical Anabaptist) Network of Churches. For more information about Evana and what we stand for, you can check out these following links:
- About Evana Network
- Evana Network holds to the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective (1995)
Today, East Bend continues to seek to be faithful to our Lord Jesus' wisdom and guidance!
To find out more about East Bend: