A hardy band of settlers established a community in the area we know as Broadway Avenue 175 years ago, before Sterling or Rock Falls were established.
In 1838, they founded the first church in Whiteside County, known for many years as Broadway Methodist and today known as First Methodist. About 30 years later, it mothered two other churches in the area, today recognized as Wesley United Methodist Church and Rock Falls United Methodist Church.
This year, we celebrate our 175th anniversary. On Sunday, we will have a special service of celebration at 10:30 a.m. under the big top on the campus of First United Methodist, 501 Broadway Ave. Tours of our historic church building will be provided before and after worship.
The same afternoon, from 3 to 5 p,m,, we will be celebrating with the entire community at the Grandon Civic Center. We will have live music, desserts, games and more. The entire community, our daughter congregations, our friends from FISH and Loaves and Fishes, and all of our neighbors are encouraged to join us in this historic celebration.
Note to readers: Rev. Paul Judd is pastor at Sterling First United Methodist.