Spring Grove Orthodox Church
Image by keith011764
When Jim made his subject choice "Churches", I got to thinking, what could I possibly shoot that had any meaning? Two churches immediately came to mind: St. Peter’s Catholic church and Spring Grove Orthodox church, both in my home town of Spring Grove, Illinois. I finally decided on the little Orthodox Church, simply because it had a greater spiritual meaning in my life. Ironically, I spent most of my youth playing baseball and fishing behind the Catholic church. They had a great field with a fence and a Nippersink Creek tributary ran through their property. There were baseball games every day during the summer. The problem with growing up in a small town was the fact that we could never get our hands on a baseball to play with, and when we did, we almost always lost it. Home runs hit over the fence were never a good thing…..
The story behind the Orthodox church is different. When I was a young child of 6 or 7 years old, I was inspired by an uncle who took the time to teach me all about God, Jesus and the bible. He spent hours telling me everything from how the world was created to how we will all burn in eternal damnation if we don’t change our ways. Needless to say, I was at an age where I believed everything adults told me, and decided to go to church every Sunday. Being a non-Catholic, my only choice was this little Orthodox church just down the road. I would wake up early every Sunday morning, put on my little three piece suit and make the 3/4 mile walk to church. How I slipped by my parents and 11 brothers and sisters I’ll never know, but I managed to make it on time every single week. When I got there I would politely take my seat and listen to the minister’s sermon. When it was time to sing hymnals I didn’t always know the songs, but I do remember feeling very welcome there. I didn’t go more than a few months before Satan found better things for me to do on Sunday mornings, like watching cartoons, sleeping in or playing with my friends.
As this photo shows, the church is still in great shape. To the right there’s a "For Sale" sign advertising it as commercial space, but I decided to crop it out. I don’t have any history to share except my own. This church isn’t mentioned in any of the Spring Grove history books or anywhere on the internet, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.