History

Rev. Harry Thiel arrived in Decatur the summer of 1957 to organize a new United Lutheran congregation. After a survey was made of the north area of Decatur, a planning meeting was held on July 26, 1957 at the Caterpillar plant with about 90 people in attendance.

The first worship service of Holy Cross was held in Pershing School on August 11, 1957 with 115 people present. This was the largest attendance for a new ULC in Illinois. The first Sunday School was held September 8, 1957 with 38 children attending.

Charter Day was Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1957 with 58 adults signing the charter. There were three more opportunities to sign the charter bringing this total to 104 adults and 84 children.

Organization Day for the new Holy Cross Lutheran Church was February 16, 1958. During the morning service, 21 children and 4 adults were baptized. At this service the first church council was also installed with the following members: Charles Hamilton, Thomas Hrodey, Clifford Kommedahl, Wayne Newlin, Erling Olsson, Charles Stewart, Oscar Stratman, Leonard Velander and Frank Verbanac. The organization service was held that afternoon at First Lutheran Church.

Land for the new church was purchased at Mound Road and Route 51 with a ground-breaking ceremony on April 21, 1963. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, November 3, 1963 and the first service in the new building was February 2, 1964. On May 10, 1964 the building was dedicated to the Glory of God. The mortgage was paid off in 1991. 1970, the congregation became financially independent and no longer received help from the Board of American Missions.

On October 10, 1999, ground was broken for a new addition to the building. A ceremony for closing the original sanctuary and the opening of the new one was held in June, 2000. Much of the labor to construct the new building was done on a volunteer basis by several members of the congregation. Today, the members continue to voluntarily take care of the building both inside and out.

In addition to Harry Thiel, this congregation has been served by Pastors Lee Evans, Robert Holden, William Harum, James Lillie, Jack Lawrence, Marty Eckert, and Rachel Ziese Hacker. Pastor Al Weidlich has served as our interm pastor on five occasions. Our current pastor is Amy Ziettlow and Jan Lawson serves as a Synodically Authorized Minister.