Our History

Image of the church that burned in 1941

Our Humble Beginnings

The First Christian Church in Effingham began in 1867 with meetings held in the Court House.
A small building erected in the west part of town served as the church until it burned down.
The next building was erected on North Fourth Street in 1893.
It burned in 1941.

Image of the building the church family moved to after the church burned in 1944

How We've Grown

In 1944 the building at 211 N. Fourth Street was dedicated.
In 1963 a Sunday School building was erected immediately west of the church.
A new parsonage was built in 1963 at 903 N. Henrietta Street on land purchased from the Frank Hoelscher family.

The present church image that was built in 1972

Our Hopeful Future

Our new church was erected in 1972 on five acres at 901 N. Henrietta Street.
The first Worship Service was held on Sunday, December 24, 1972.
The Dedication Services were held on Sunday, June 10, 1973.

What We Believe

First Christian Church is an independent non-denominational church. The following beliefs are given not as a comprehensive list of essential doctrines, but as the foundational truths upon which we base our teaching and ministry:


We believe... in one God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who is all powerful (Luke 1:37) and eternal (Genesis 1:126-27). He exists as three distinct persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) although He is One (Deut. 6:4).


We believe . . . that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16) who was born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), lived a perfect life (Hebrews 4:15), died a terrible death on a Roman cross for the sins of all mankind (I Peter 2:24), was raised bodily from the dead after three days (I Corinthians 15:4), ascended to heaven (Luke 24:51), and is coming again (Acts 1:11).


We believe . . . that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit convicts, converts and changes us. He lives within us to comfort, guide, convict and enable us to live in ways that honor God. (Romans 8:11John 14:16-1 716:7-131 Corinthians 12:4-11Galatians 5:22-23) He guides us in our understanding of His Truth John 16:13).


We believe . . . that People were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) by choice and thus condemned by our own sin against God (Romans 6:23). Since we are sinners, we all need a Savior.


We believe . . . that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6Acts 4:12). Salvation is obtained through the blood of Christ (I John 1:7) and is available through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). We believe the New Testament teaches us how we can receive that salvation. We believe that the New Testament Scriptures teach that a person who wants to accept the salvation God offers needs to believe in Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 16:31), repent of his sins (Acts 3:19), confess Jesus to be Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10), and be united with Christ in baptism (Acts 2:38Romans 6:3-5). Following his conversion to Christ, an individual needs to live faithfully (Acts 2:42).


We believe . . . that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and is the only basis for our faith and action both in our personal life and in the life of the local church.


We believe . . . that our congregation should follow the pattern of the church in the New Testament. Therefore our congregation is under the oversight of elders (Acts 20:28I Peter 5:2-3) with the assistance of deacons (I Timothy 3:8-13).


FCC Image of Pastor Martin and his wife
FCC Image of the worship director, Jane Ann Zerkel and her husband.

Martin  & Justine Reyes

Lead Pastor & His Wife

Jane Ann (Worship Director)  & Jon Zerkel 

Martin Reyes and his family have been serving our church family since January 2012. He and his wife, Justine, have four sons: Gabriel, Zachariah, Joshua and David.

(217) 317-3800

Jane Ann is the Worship Director

She plays the piano and leads songs for worship on Sunday mornings. 

Cleone Bloemker


John Donathan


Cleone started as secretary at First Christian Church in June of 2012. She has been a member of First Christian Church since 1973. She has taught Sunday School children, helps teach children's church and leads ladies Tea & Conversation. She helps with W.O.W. (Worship on Wednesday)



John lived and worked in Effingham since 2000.

He has been a membe of FCC since 2008.

He has served in multiple capacities including deacon and elder. 

A favorite Bible verse of his is:

 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven. He is the Son of Man. 14 Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. In the same way, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15 Then everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him. 18 Anyone who believes in him is not judged. But anyone who does not believe is judged already. They have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.             

                               John 3:13-18

Don Millman



Hello Church family, My wife, Joni, and I started attending FCC Effingham in September of 2021. We chose FCC because of the way we were greeted on our first visit here. We were met with a lot of love, and we felt the Spirit of God was active in the people.

Joni and I have been married sense November 6, 1981. We have four children, 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. We raised our kids in West Salem, IL and as empty nesters have lived in Fayetteville, Georgia and now in Effingham, IL.

I was born in Riverside California and raised in Olney, Illinois with one brother and one sister. I graduated from East Richland High School in 1973 and immediately went to work in the manufacturing sector. I started college when working at Champion Laboratories and received my Bachelor’s in Industrial Technology from SIU and later received my Master’s in Business Administration from Regis University.

Joni and I currently have a worship ministry with our granddaughters and one of our daughters where we lead worship as God calls us. We are both also in teaching ministries Joni for youth and I for adults. We are open to God’s calling where he leads us and are standing on God’s faithfulness. We are excited to see how FCC is going to be used for God’s Kingdom and what we can do as part of FCC.  

When do we meet?

On Sundays:

Sunday School: 9:00 a.m.

Our Worship Service : 10:00 a.m

On Wednesdays:

Worship On Wednesday (WOW) meets at 5:30 p.m. to eat together.

  • Adult Bible Study starts at 6:30 p.m. and goes to 7:30 p.m.
  • Children's Bible Study starts at 6:00 p.m. and goes to 7:30 p.m.
  • Youth Group's Bible Study starts at 6:00 p.m. and goes to 7:30 p.m.

Tithing & Dress

God wants to meet you wherever you are, so come as you are. The Bible says in Mark 12:33 "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When it comes to offerings and tithing, give whatever the Lord leads you to give.