History of The Church of the Brethren



Our original Church at 5th and Benten

Where we are now at 5th and Clay

On My 30, 1909, a few Brethren families living in Peru met to organize a Sunday School.  The first classes were held on week later at 117 S. Broadway, with 43 people attending with an offering of .81 cents.

          Thought turned to having a permanent building and church services.  It was decided to build at the corner of Fifth and Benton Streets.  The new church was dedicated on march 18, 1912.

          By 1922 the church grew to a membership of 140.  By 1946 the membership grew to 446.

          The Bloomfield Church was started in 1938 by members of the Bethany Sunday School class, and was supported until it was able to become independent in 1954.  it presently does not exist.

          Outreach continued when the church brought Sipahai and Sisopha Onemanyvong, a refugee couple from Laos to Peru in May 1981.  The church assisted the couple to be secure.  The family relocated in 1983 to Colorado.

          Plans for a new church building got underway in 1955, and the first service in the new building at Fifth and Clay was on May 17, 1959.

          In 1975, the property north of the church was purchased, the house torn down and a parking lot was made.  In 1977, the parsonage, which was next to the church was found to be in bad shape.  It was demolished and converted to a parking lot.

          When the congregation decided to build the new church in 1947, they were reminded of a very important fact by pastor, Howard Keim.  Who said “The building of a church is primarily a spiritual experience.  More important than stone, steel, brick, mortar, glass and furnishings, is the conditions of our hearts.”

          The success of the church is due to its members.  This has been true since that first Sunday School Meeting in 1909, and it has not changed.  The growth and well being of the Peru Church Depends on everyone.