Our History

Our History

February, 1961

Initial contact and planning for a new work in Princeton;  Monday night Bible class began with 15 committed people.

July 5, 1964

This was the first service as the Elm City Bible Church at LaSalle and Church Street, Princeton, Illinois, Pastor Lewis Kraft- preacher.

19 Charter Members:  Kenneth & Annabel Anderson, LaVern & Mae Barker, Clarence and Darlene Dickinson, Gene & Dorothy Dickinson, Phil and Eloise Green, Dean & Frances Gutshall, Laverne & Shirley Manning, Ruth Nelson, Ray & Phyllis Ross, Russell & Evelyn Routt

August 16, 1964

Church parsonage was purchased for $13,500.00 prior to the first full time pastor and wife, Rev. Benjamin and Willhemina DeJong’s arrival.

November 11, 1964

The name of the church was changed from Elm City Bible Church to Princeton, Bible Church due to the dying elm trees. (Princeton’s nickname had been Elm City)

May, 1966

Claude Bailey donated over 3 acres of land east of Princeton on which to build a church.

March, 1967

Pastor & Mrs. DeJong resigned the pastorate because of health issues and he took a position at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music as a professor.

May, 1967

Pastor Harold Burkey spoke as a candidate.

August 27, 1967

Pastor & Donajean Burkey and their six children moved into the parsonage.

September 1, 1967

The first wedding was performed—Tom & Patty Houston Cabeen


The building committee was planning and traveling to look at other facilities.  Claude Bailey’s stipulation on the contract:  We were to build within two years of the gift.  At this time over a year had already elapsed.

Fall, 1967

Families gathered to pray and give pledges using their property and businesses toward building a new church.  The banks would not give a loan without pledges.  When they were counted, it was enough to get the loan.

November 5, 1967

Ground breaking on the new plot of ground.

November 11, 1967

Digging began for the new church building.

January, 1969

The first service in the new building was held.


The Elizabeth Cass Memorial Library was established.


The P.B.C. singing youth group, the IDRAHAJES (I’d  Rather Have Jesus) went to Mexico and then to Nebraska to minister.

September, 1974

Pastor Howard and Genevieve came as assistant pastor in charge of youth.

March, 1975

The “wing” addition was completed.


The Walnut Community Bible Church began as a sister church of PBC with Pastor Howard as their pastor. 

Basketball Season (1980-1981) - PBC won the Princeton Church Basketball League

August, 1981

The Princeton Christian Academy began with 19 students in kindergarten through third grade with Pastor Howard as principal.

May, 1982

The Walnut Church called Ron Eckberg as pastor and Pastor Howard was back to PBC to serve full-time.

August, 1983

Pastor Bob and Sharla Schultz arrived to direct the youth program.

August 23, 1986

Tragic accident of Pastor Bob and Jeremy Cabeen

September, 1988

Pastor Bob resigned and moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

February 19, 1989

Jeremy Cabeen passes into eternity.

August 15, 1993

Ground breaking for the new addition of classrooms and gymnasium

December, 1993

Pastor Burkey’s critical illness and the long road of rehabilitation began

August, 1995

Landscaping, sidewalks, light and flagpole installed

August 27, 1995

The dedication service for the new facility


Pastor Burkey semi-retires

November, 1997

Pastor Howard and Genny and family move to Alaska to take a pastorate in Haines.


Carl Fivek became the PCA principal.

December 28, 1997

Pastor Ken Wilson's first Sunday as pastor.  Ken, Marlene, Madilyn, Alyssa, and Makenzie moved to Princeton.

Summer,  1998

Pete and Julie Phipps began ministry in charge of youth.


Care Groups began on Sunday evenings; The loft got carpeted; Youth missions trip went to    SanFelipe, Mexico


Barb Tuntland hired as PCA principal; Men’s Tuesday lunch began; June 10, Howard Hoffman died; School gym named in memory of Howard; July 13-23, missions trip to Mexico; 


First summer music camp – “Fish Tales”;  December – Pastor Pete and Julie moved to Connaut Lake, PA.


Kitchen cabinets and stoves completed in the new addition;”Promise U” summer music camp; New church sign installed; Parking lot sealed; PCA added 9th and 10th grades;  Awana started for Wednesday night children’s program; November – “Raise the Roof” banquet to raise funds for the new classroom wing;


PCA classrooms built to be open for 2003 school; New 16 channel sound mixer purchased; July 20-26 – Mission Indy; “ Amerikids” summer music camp; 

January, 2004

Everett and Terrie commissioned to mission work with HCJB in Colorado Springs, CO;

July, 2004

Pastor Curtis and Jessica Odell come to PBC ,  Curtis as associate pastor in charge of youth;  “Holy Moses” summer music camp;  1916 Steinway grand piano reconditioned and refinished

July 18-24, 2004

Mission Indy mission trip;  


Barb Tuntland retired as principal and the intercom was installed at PCA in her honor;  Marty Kiser became the next principal; “King of the Jungle” summer music camp; summer mission trip to Mission Indy


25th year anniversary for PCA; Summer mission trip to Mission Indy; “Donkey Tales” summer music camp

April, 2007

PCA took a mission trip to Mexico;

July, 2007

PBC took a mission trip to Jacksonville, FL with Second Mile Ministries; “Fish Tales” summer music camp 

July 11-19 2008

Summer mission trip to Saltillo, Mexico with Eternal Love Ministries

August 5-7 2010

Creation Museum trip

July ,2011 

Curtis Odell’s ordination

August, 2011

Summer mission trip to Kampala, Uganda with AMG ( Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel)

June, 2012

Summer mission trip to Chattanooga with AMG;  The foyer and the wing were remodeled;  VBS was sports camp – “Team Jesus” Olympics

June, 2013

Summer mission trip to Lima, Peru with AMG; VBS was “Kingdom Chronicles”

January, 2014

Justin and Debbie Bullington commissioned to service in Papua New Guinea; 

June, 2014

Summer mission trip to Chattenooga, TN with AMG; VBS – “International Spy Academy”;  

June, 2014

Tom Odell installed as next PCA principal

July 11-13, 2014

50th Anniversary Celebration

August-November, 2014

New playground equipment, fence, and school security system installed.

January, 2015

First Sunday of the month "Kindred Connection" coffee and muffins before Sunday School began.

March 29, 2015

Basement renovation dedication and mortgage burning.

June 14-18, 2015

VBS – Camp Kilimanjaro

June 24-July 1, 2015

Summer mission trip to Guatemala

January 10, 2016

Ken Wilson family farewell

February 28, 2016

Announcements of Curtis Odell as Senior Pastor and Justin Bullington as Associate Pastor

June 12-16, 2016

VBS "Ocean Commotion"

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