1980 – 1983
Pastors John and Barbara Bonacorsi began a small group Bible study in their home with three other couples in the summer of 1980.
Soon after, the founding couples started a 32 week class called “Understanding God” at the Billy G’s Bowl in Rantoul.
1984 – 1991
Christian Life Church is established and begins holding services in Billy G’s Bowl (currently Country Tyme Lanes). The name “Christian Life” was chosen because of the aspiration to live out the Christian Life.
As the church grew, Christian Life purchased two buildings and the lot adjacent to the bowling alley in 1988 to provide additional space for the growing need of classrooms and a youth building for the Jr. and Sr. High students.
1992 – 1999
Despite the closing of the Chanute Air Force base in 1992 and the eventual decline of 25% of Rantoul’s population, Christian Life continued to grow as new people were saved, trained, and released into ministry.
In 1998, a campaign was kicked off to raise funds under the banner of “Give Us This Mountain”.
The “Give Us This Mountain” fundraiser brought in over $700,000 to purchase a large building on 300 N. Maplewood that once housed a phone company.
After 6 months of renovations, Christian Life’s first service at 300 N. Maplewood was held on Easter Sunday, 1999.
2000 – 2008
Christian Life Pre-School is founded to serve the young families of the Rantoul area.
After nine years of sacrificial giving, the $1.8 million facility on 300 N. Maplewood was completely paid off! Christian Life celebrated being debt-free by burning the mortgage on Sunday morning, March 30th, 2008.
2009 – 2013
This was a time of transition as Barry and Sheryl Hinkle were trained and equipped to take over the mantle of senior leadership from John and Barbara Bonacorsi.
As new people were added to our congregation, we strengthened the effectiveness of our Life Groups (small groups) as a vehicle to fulfill our mission of developing passionately devoted followers of Jesus.
The baton of senior leadership was passed from the Bonacorsis to the Hinkles as Barry and Sheryl became Senior Pastors.
We plan to enlarge our pastoral staff in order to continue to be an equipping station which meets the needs of our congregation.
And the journey continues…