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updated: 5/12/2014 6:06 AM

Rural Illinois church celebrates 150 years

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Associated Press

Rural Illinois church celebrates 150 years

ASHTON, Ill. (AP) -- A rural Lee County church is marking 150 years with a celebration next month.

The Reynolds United Methodist Church in Ashton was started in 1864. Church officials say that's when church was an all-day affair and sermons sometimes lasted hours.

The Rev. Alan Meyer says a celebration with the congregation will take place next month. The (Dixon) Telegraph reports he's been pastor for seven years and lives next door in a parsonage that's almost as old as the church.

Church officials have been digging into the church's history recently. They say early services were conducted in German and men and women used separate entrances in the early days.

The structure of the church has been renovated over the years, but the original foundation and some features are still intact.

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