Assemblies of God










Church of Christ


Church of God



Trinity Episcopal Church
402 Pekin St., Lincoln
Pastor:  James Cravens

 7:30 & 9:45AM Sunday
 9:00AM Tuesday-Friday

Jehovah's  Witnesses



Immanuel Lutheran Church  ELCA
1409 Pulaski St., Lincoln
Pastor Joe Bleakley
 9:00AM Sunday

Zion Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
205 Pulaski St., Lincoln
Pastor Mark Carnahan
Pastor Kirk Cunningham
 8:00 & 10:30AM Sunday
 7:00PM Wednesday

United Methodist

First United Methodist Church
302 Broadway St.,  Lincoln
Pastor:  Larry Maffett
Sept-May:  8:30 & 10AM 
Web site:









United Church of Christ


To inquire about listing your congregation's worship information, please e-mail us at or call us at 217-732-7443.


Vision more important than sight at Lincoln Hill Free Methodist Church

[JULY 14, 2000]  Bill Dolan, the new pastor at Lincoln Hill Free Methodist Church in Lincoln, does not have good eyesight, but he and his congregation have keen insight into where their church should be going and growing.

Pastor Bill is one of the few blind pastors in the United States and the only one in the Free Methodist movement, but his visual disability does not hinder his spiritual and leadership ability. The future of this church will be built on five pillars that Pastor Bill and church leaders have set out as their vision statement. Those pillars include God-centered worship, developing the spiritual disciplines, a comprehensive program of Christian education, developing strong families and evangelistic outreach into the community.

The pastoral "call" that brought Bill Dolan and the Lincoln Hill church together is in human terms intriguing; in Biblical terms it is providential.

Dolan did not become a Christian until he was 21 and a student at Lincoln College. He was converted through the campus outreach of Lincoln Christian Church and its youth minister, Mark Post. Dolan says of his conversion, the "Lord satisfied my needs," and made him realize that he had "never known genuine love," until he came to know Christ and His followers.

Dolan transferred to Lincoln Christian College and graduated with an A.A. degree in Bible in 1994. He subsequently attended the University of Illinois, Springfield, where he completed a B.A. degree in communications in 1996. He is currently working on a graduate degree at Lincoln Christian Seminary.

Dolan gained experience for ministry and pastoring through a unique avenue. He had been involved with radio throughout his teen years, and after he became a Christian, Dolan put his intellect and his rich, melodious voice to use in Christian radio where he served as announcer, writer, and producer at stations in Illinois. He also sought to be a "radio church" planter in Illinois and Iowa. As he describes it, he became a "pastor on the radio," long before he considered becoming a pastor of a church.

His experiences in Christian radio led him to a "ministry in media" with an Assemblies of God church in Springfield before returning to Lincoln in the summer of 1999 to study at the seminary.

Originally intending to study counseling at Lincoln Christian Seminary, Dolan felt divine leading to change his major to ministry. As part of that leading, he began to send out resumes to churches in the Lincoln area, but he was often cautioned about the many obstacles confronting a blind candidate for the ministry.

In late spring 2000, a family in Rushville, who knew Dolan through his radio career, told him about a possible opening in the Free Methodist congregation in Lincoln. Within a few days, Dolan contacted the regional conference of the denomination, met with regional leaders, then met with and received a call to the pulpit of the Lincoln Hill church. As Dolan and church members describe this chain of events, "God was at work in this every step of the way."

According to Dolan, his blindness was never made an issue throughout this process. When asked if Dolan's visual impairment was a concern to the congregation, Bob Strotheide, a member of the search committee and adult Sunday school teacher said "maybe there were some concerns," but that Dolan had already shown himself to be "very resourceful" in meeting the challenges of ministry.

By all accounts, the Lincoln Hill congregation has had some trying times in recent years. But it is clear that great faith and a great love for each other brought the members together and have sustained them through the years.

I do not recall talking to any members who grew up in the Free Methodist tradition. Most joined the congregation because of the fellowship and caring evidenced by the church. Midge Woodard, a member for 50-plus years, became involved because the Lincoln Hill pastor called on her when she moved to Lincoln, and he encouraged her to get involved. During Sunday school, Geraldine Heinzel described her belief that she was "led by the Holy Spirit" to this body. She later told how the congregation has cared for her and her family during time of need. Dean and Bernice Rock echoed her sentiments when they said they were there because of the "love and concern of the members." They said that "the church was there for them" through some major medical problems. "Everybody prays" in this church, said Clarence Spurgeon, who, like the Rocks, had been nurtured by the church family while he experienced medical problems.

Several members and leaders noted that until recently, both the attendance and the self-confidence of the congregation had been challenged during the transition in leadership. It is evident that there is now a spirit of enthusiasm and expectation of great things for the future. Pastor Bill and the church leadership have sought to freshen the worship service by blending praise choruses with traditional hymns. According to church leaders, the worship time has been extended and has been made flexible to the leading of the Holy Spirit. One of the highlights of the service I attended on July 9 was the time set aside for the testimonies and praises of the members during the worship.

Several members noted the immediate impact of their new pastor on the church and its worship. According to Bob Strotheide, there are conscious efforts to make sure the worship service "ministers to the young and inspires the young" members and visitors to the church. He also added that Dolan is an "excellent preacher" who has brought positive changes to the congregation.

Pastor Dolan is a spiritual leader who "helps us be more spiritual," says Midge Woodard. She and several others noted the great blessing of the Thursday morning prayer time (7 to 8 a.m.), which is enriching the church.

The emphasis on prayer and spiritual growth in the Lincoln Hill congregation is part of a long tradition in the Free Methodist denomination. Free Methodism traces its origins to the classic Methodist and Wesleyan traditions and the Holiness movement, which emphasized deep personal piety and the perfection of the individual. The founder of Free Methodism, Benjamin Titus Roberts, helped organize the denomination in New York state in 1860, and sought to create a body which was "free" from the institution of slavery and which promoted freedom and simplicity in worship. Free Methodists provided free pews for all who came to worship, in an era when many churches charged "pew rents" for the pews which were near the front and center of the sanctuary. The best pews were often controlled by those who were rich, powerful and who were sometimes impious members of the community.

The Lincoln Hill Free Methodist congregation was organized in 1939, and the present building at 201 S. College was erected in 1945.

Sunday school meets at 9:30 a.m., with worship starting at 10:30 a.m.

The church phone is 732-6722. Pastor Dolan's e-mail address is



[John Welter]


Pentecostal church will have revival services

[AUG. 17, 2000]  The United Pentecostal Church of Lincoln, 1422 Pekin St., is having a revival. Revival services are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20, through Wednesday, Aug. 23, with services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday and at 7 p.m. the following days. The Rev. Jackie Lewis from southeast Missouri will be preaching. For more information or a ride, call 732-4662.




Revival services to be this weekend

[AUG. 16, 2000]  Evangelist George McGregor from South Africa, one of the McGregor Brothers Minister Team, who have ministered at the ongoing revival at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla., will be leading special revival services this weekend at Full Gospel Evangelistic Center, 426 N. Monroe St. in Lincoln. The services will be Friday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

For more information, go to



Trinity Episcopal Church presents scholarship
[AUG. 12, 2000]  The Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church presented Beth Bryant with a Scholarship to Life. Beth, a graduating senior, has been a very active member in the life of the church, being involved in church school, as an acolyte, in Breakfast Club, musical programs for the holidays, summer church camp, chairing Crop Walk, and in the pews at worship with her parish family. It is for this faithfulness to her church and God that she has received this gift. To Beth we are truly grateful, and wish her the very best as she starts college this fall. We have truly been blessed to have such a fine young woman in our midst.  


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