In 1972, a bi-monthly Bible study began in the home of Bobby Joe and Marylen Hale. The meetings became too large for a house meeting; therefore, a new location appeared imminent. The prayer meeting found its way to a storage room in the Christian Bookstore on Cherry Street owned by Bob and Marylen and met regularly on Saturday evenings. Attendance grew and vision expanded from a simple Bible Study to a Teaching Center to educate believers in the Word of God. Bob and Marylen’s vision led to the birth of Christian Bookshelf Fellowship in March of 1976.
The Bookstore and Fellowship relocated to larger facilities on Park Avenue, and Bob Hale served as the first pastor. From its inception, Christian Bookshelf Fellowship endured many hardships. Due to non-traditional Praise & Worship, Bible-based teaching incorporating the Gifts of the Spirit, and a tenacious faith in God, this community of Believers experienced ostracism and ridicule. Bob Hale’s vision for the Bookshelf included the purchase of the building and land which was formerly the Elk’s Property located on North Park Avenue in Herrin, IL. – where the church now stands. Bob Hale passed away on January 18, 1980 before seeing the fulfillment of his vision. On August 13, 1982 the church purchased the property and services began on July 2, 1983 after completion of major remodeling. In 1986, the church was renamed Christian Life Center, and most recently to Christian Life Church.
For forty years, God continues to faithfully lead and direct Christian Life Church. CLC continually displays its strengths in the areas of Praise & Worship, strong Bible-based teaching, in addition to its passion for the lost, demonstrated by numerous outreaches, local and abroad. In January of 1998, the leadership of CLC cast a new vision before the church to: “Give the message of Christ to those who don’t know and develop those who believe.” With abundant evidence appearing throughout its numerous ministries, CLC is being faithful to its mission.