The Church of the Nazarene in Royalton was the second church of that denomination in Franklin County. In the summer of 1925 Sister Edna Wells Hoke, then pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Carterville, held a revival in the store building where Jesse Garavalia's A.G. Store was located. The local Methodist Church was divided over the doctrine of Christian Perfection and many Methodist attended the Revival. Later that summer, at the request of these people, Sister Hoke organized a Church of the Nazarene, in the home of H. H. Dobbs. Twelve members were recorded that Wednesday night and the following Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mason were added. These fourteen people made up the Charter Members of the First Church of the Nazarene in Royalton.
The first annual meeting held July 21, 1925, the membership was still fourteen. The report at the District Assembly of 1926 records a membership of thirty-two but the local church records show forty-eight on the church rolls.
The first annual meeting of July 21, 1925, is the oldest existing local record. It shows that Brother Conden Armes was licensed as a local preacher. Tom Mason, Ode Jackson, and H. H. Dobbs were elected Trustees. Kenneth Jackson and Sister Arms were elected delegates to the District Assembly, at Joliet. Sisters Arms, Mason, and Bohannan were elected Stewards. H. H. Dobbs was elected Church Treasurer. A motion was made to pay Twenty-five Dollars on the Tabernacle. There are no records of who made these motions, who seconded or of the voting. The record closed with "Motion to Adjourn, so we adjourned".
In 1943 the Chicago Central District was divided and the southern half of Illinois became the Illinois District. The first District Assembly of the new district was held in 1944. Then Royalton Church Pastor was J. E. Killion. Rev. Killion was pastor of Royalton three times. The local church records mentions him in 1932. He was recalled in 1934, but Rev. StanIey was pastor that year. The District records show him Pastor of Royalton in 1943. His other pastorate in Royalton is not available.
It is interesting to know that Rev. Conden Arms, who was licensed to preach in the first annual meeting served Royalton as pastor two years later. At the first annual meeting, the church borrowed money from Bro. Bahanan (the treasurer) till the mine starts. The janitor was paid seventy-five cents a week and during revivals this was raised to a dollar a week. The pastor's salary in 1932 was five dollars a week.
The tabernacle was built at the comer of Division and Fairdale Streets. An educational wing was added to the tabernacle in the early seventies and a fellowship hall was added later in that decade. In the early 1980's the original tabernacle was removed and a new, modem sanctuary was built at the same location.
Today, the Church owns the property across the street, comprised of three lots, which serve as parking. The educational wing and fellowship hall have been updated and still reflect the image of Holiness on the comer of Division and Fairdale Streets.
Many fine Pastors have graced the pulpit and promoted Holiness and God's work down through the years. God's people of Royalton First Church of the Nazarene still believe in Holiness and following the Great Commission of Christ. What a tremendous Heritage has been handed down through the years and will continue to be handed down through future generations with God's guidance and blessing.
(Author Unknown By Me--This Material Taken From The 1993 Round-Up Booklet