By Hannah Brzozowski
Moving to a Champaign - Urbana and finding a church can be hard. When you put "church in Champaign" or "Churches near me" into Google - about 100 results come up. Spoiler Alert: Google hasn't actually been to any of them so they can't tell you from personal experience what each one is like.
When we first moved to town to start Anchor Church, we visited a lot of church services. We looked at the church website before we went but there's just something about going into a church. We did this to meet the leadership and figure out the "vibe" of each one. To be clear, we haven't been to all of them so they aren't all listed. But, if we're missing one that you think should be on the list or if some information is incorrect (the numbers for each church are a rough estimate), please let us know in the comments - we'd love for this to be resource to those moving to Champaign - Urbana, Illinois or who are looking for a new church!
Address: 2901 Watterson Ct. Champaign, IL
Description: We're pretty biased with this one! Anchor does church a bit differently. We meet once a month for a typical church service and then on the other weeks, we meet for small groups. This way, we're able to put into practice what is preached and help each other grow. The monthly services typically last about an hour, have worship in a dimly lit room and a message. We like to tackle topics that might be hard to talk about. For example, in the past, we've talked about racism, toxic people, daddy issues and hell.
Address: 2302 W John St, Champaign, IL
Description: When we went to Bridge Church it was meeting in a movie theatre as a new church plant. They have since moved to a new location. When we walked in, we were welcomed by a host team with smiles and a welcome bag. The worship was contemporary and the message was topic based. Since it's a smaller church, everyone seemed to know everyone but they were also very welcoming to us as guests.
Church of the Living God
Address: 312 E. Bradley Avenue Champaign, IL 61820
Description: We went to a Wednesday Night Bible Study after someone invited us to come from a local book club. There were about 40 people and everyone was so kind to us. they even invited Nick up to close off the Bible Study in prayer. From what I gather online, the worship is gospel style and upbeat. They also refer to themselves as the Love Corner - which we definitely felt when we attended.
Copper Creek Church
Address: 2202 W Curtis Rd, Champaign IL 61822
Description: We got to attend Copper Creek after we asked them if we could borrow some dodgeballs for an event - which they graciously let us use! We walked into their brand-new building, grabbed some coffee, and went into the service. They had a period of time during the service when they invited the children up to do a Bible lesson and then sent the kids off to have their own programming. It was nice to see a church incorporate the kids lesson into the service like that. Pastor Macy preached the Sunday we went - it was short and very applicable to our lives. Copper Creek is LGBTQIA Affirming.
Address: 107 S Webber St Urbana, IL 61802 (but meet at various locations)
Description: One thing that you'll hear about C-U Church is that every week they do an offering for someone in our community called the One for 1. Everyone is encouraged to donate $1 and then that money is given to the person in need. This is done at every service. They meet at various locations but we attended the Sunday morning at the Illini Hotel. The hallway leading to the large conference room had signs for where to drop off kids and where to go, the large room was well-lit (to fit a simple, stripped-back vibe) and the message was about 30 minutes long.
Covenant Fellowship Church
Address: 107 S Webber St Urbana, IL 61802 (but meet at various locations)
Description: Covenant Fellowship Church started out as a Korean church but has since started to minister to all Asian countries and beyond and so the services are in English. They meet Monday-Friday for prayer in the mornings and are committed to ministering to students at the University of Illinois. They currently meet at All Souls Presbyterian Church but when we visited, they were meeting at Twin City Bible Church. When you visit, you can tell that they care about fostering community. One of the pastors even had us over for dinner with their family to help acclimate us to the Champaign community.
First Christian Church
Address: 3601 S Staley Rd Champaign, IL 61822 (plus a campus in Urbana)
Description: First Christian Church simply wants as many people as possible to experience the same freedom they have found. In January 2021, they launched their vision of seeing 5000 next steps of discipleship over five years (2021-2025). They suggest arriving 15 minutes early to a service to be greeted by a friendly face at Guest Central who will help you find where you need to go. Worship services last about 65 minutes with a few modern-style worship songs, a 35-minute message relevant to your life, and a time of communion, giving, and prayer.
New Jerusalem M.B. Church
Address: 702 E Mumford Dr, Urbana, IL
Description: We attended Pastor Dantrell's first service as the senior pastor back in 2022, where he passionately preached Proverbs - "trust in the Lord!" The church meets in a home that was turned into a church so it's unique compared to most churches. You definitely feel the love as you walk in. Everyone was kind and you can truly feel the love of God in this church. The music was a combination of a track and a live singer.
Address: 1902 S Duncan Rd, Champaign, IL
Description: The church building sits right outside Robeson Park in Champaign. In the auditorium, there's a large window that looks out into nature which brings a calming presence to the room. The people at Meadowbrook were friendly and a few even came up to us during the greeting time to introduce themselves to us. The worship was well-lit and they had a full band. We were encouraged to see how active the teens were with the worship.
Stone Creek Church
Address: Main Campus: 2502 S Race St Urbana, IL 61801
Description: When we first moved to town, Pastor Ricky was connected with some friends of ours so we went right away. When we met him, he was genuinely excited about a new church in town and you could tell that he cares about reaching people with the Gospel. The worship at Stone Creek is upbeat and exciting. They also have a food pantry that helps the community and we were able to help out with it during the Covid-19 pandemic.
New City Church
Address: 2110 Fox Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
Description: New City is a gospel-centered church in Champaign/Urbana, IL with a heart for the next generation. It's about the same age as we are so we're so excited to have another church in town that is in the same stage as us. Pastor Nick is very kind and always makes you feel like you're the most important person in the room. The church is so passionate about reaching students that they have someone on staff called "The Campus Multiplier".
New Generation Christian Church
Address: 1401 W John St , Champaign, IL
Description: New Generation is a place where you can praise and worship God freely. With Gospel Style music, you can feel the presence of God as soon as you walk in. They encourage everyone to worship with their whole hearts and hope to be a place where you are totally able to praise God with everything you have. We've been able to have dinner with Pastor Jordan and his wife. They are passionate about learning about the Bible and loving people.
New Horizon Church
Address: 3002 W Bloomington Rd, Champaign, IL
Description: New Horizon believes that people need Jesus and their goal is to help people to grow in their relationship with him. Through weekly worship, regularly serving, active discipling, and personally mutliplying, the church helps others to grow in their faith. They offer Alpha and Celebrate Recovery - two excellent programs to help people explore their faith and help with addiction in our community. Pastor Mark is very kind and takes the time to really get to know you and offers to pray for you often.
New Life Korean Church
Address: 2901 Watterson Court, Champaign, IL
Description: New Life Korean Church offers services in Korean. They're our landlords so we're a bit biased but we think they are some of the most generous and dedicated people you'll ever meet. Through their constant outreach on campus and daily prayer meetings, they walk the talk. If you speak Korean, definitely check them out.
Twin City Bible Church
Address: 806 W. Michigan Ave Urbana, IL 61801
Description: Twin City Bible Church is right next to the University of Illinois and they have a passion for missions. We've been able to go to a couple of services because our neighbors are a part of TCBC. Through that experience, we've been able to see their heart for other nations over and over again. They will even sing songs in other languages. When we went to a baptism service, we were able to see how they value raising their children to know Jesus as well.
The Well Community Church
Address: 1401 W John St, Champaign, IL
Description: The Well wants to invite the entire community into God's family. They do this through having what they call "Micro Churches" most weeks and then meeting monthly for a worship gathering all together. Similar to Anchor, they care so deeply about community and building relationships that they have decided to change up the typical model of "church." As they seek to be obedient to Jesus and make disciples, they have prayerfully discerned and identified certain values and convictions that serve as "north-star" in staying committed to what God has called them to.
Windsor Road Christian Church
Address: 2501 Windsor Rd, Champaign, IL
Description: Windsor Road Christian Church strives to be a life-changing community of authentic believers, passionately pursuing Christ, unshakably committed to His Word, thoroughly equipped to serve, and contagiously influencing our world for Him. The musical worship aims to be a glimpse of heaven as described in Revelation 7:9 - a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. So you'll find a variety of musical styles and languages represented each Sunday. We went to Windsor Road with our neighbor who used to be on staff at the church prior to retirement. The pastor took time after the service to pray for and really get to know guests. This was refreshing for us.
The Vineyard Church of Central Illinois
Address: 1500 N. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL
Description: The very first church we went to prior to moving to Chamapign was Vineyard. Pastor Mike was so kind right off the bat and even introduced us to his brother to be our realtor as we came to town! When you go into the large lobby, you'll see smiling faces and people ready to help you connect. During the service, they have a unique time at the end for people to be prayed over for healing. Their worship team is very talented and they have a great production. The services typically last for about an hour and a half.