"Chief shepherd" Walter Jordan and "singing evangelist" Lucile Park preached to a packed house at an October 1908 revival meeting, held above the meat market on Joliet's Main Street. Forty-five charter members joined together to found the Joliet Christian Church that night, including high school principal and ordained Christian minister Oliver Shanklin, who served as the congregation's first pastor. Shanklin led services at the Opera House while women members of the Christian Workers took the lead in raising money for a permanent sanctuary. Proceeds from events like their Election Day luncheon, soon a Joliet tradition, combined with contributions from more established Christian Churches to provide the needed funds. Local carpenter Charles Hemery and his son Raymond designed the vernacular building and, assisted by many community volunteers, completed the wood-frame church in time for a June 2, 1909, dedication service. Precise attention to detail reflects the care paid during construction. The gable-roofed church, ornamented by Palladian windows, features a flared-roof belfry. A growing congregation supported remodeling of the basement in 1956, but the church's exterior still looks much as it did in 1909.