our history

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When 19 people started a church in Normal, Illinois in 1955; they never imagined that their simple vision and God’s faithfulness would become what is now Eastview Christian Church. Their desire was to start a church that was dedicated to the Word of God, worshiped Jesus as Lord and Savior, and was on a mission to share this good news with the world. From those early prayers and dreams, Eastview has become a church that God has grown by His grace and power.


Our church’s history can best be summarized with our pastors, our growth, and our moves. This is by no means an exhaustive history, but it will provide a glimpse of God’s work here.


For the first five years the church met in the old Bloomington YMCA which no longer exists. The early years saw several professors from Lincoln Bible Institute meet the need for preaching, but in 1960 Galen Skinner was hired as the first full-time preacher and the congregation built a permanent building on Emerson Street to hold their weekly services (this building is now home to Bloomington Bible Church). The church grew.


After two years in the pulpit, Galen Skinner was called to be the president of Minnesota Bible College and Bob Phillips was hired to take his place. Under Bob’s preaching and leadership, the church continued to grow which necessitated another move to Towanda Avenue. In 1965 the church moved into the new building and having experienced a ten year trend of growth with an average of over 500 in weekly attendance by 1975. At this point Bob Phillips was called to become the president of Lincoln Bible College.


Gary York was hired as Sr. Pastor and the growth continued. Over the next 20 years, Eastview expanded her worship facilities three times in order to keep up with the weekly attendance which now averaged over 2700. Prayerfully, the leadership decided it was time to seek relocation again. God provided in a powerful way with nearly 100 acres of undeveloped farm land on the northernmost edge of Normal, Illinois. In November of 1999, with many miracles and God’s continued provision; Eastview Christian Church moved to its current location. Growth slowed briefly, but by the end of 2006, the church was averaging nearly 3,400 in weekend attendance. In June of 2007, Gary York retired after 32 years of faithful service.


Mike Baker, our former youth pastor, was promoted to Sr. Pastor after shadowing Gary York for several years. Eastview experienced new growth and community involvement through many outreach efforts envisioned by Mike’s leadership. Mike resigned in May 2023. Although we don’t know exactly what God will do moving forward, we look forward to how the ministry at Eastview evolves in Bloomington-Normal and beyond.