We are all created to be in relationship with God, and until we discover connection with God through Jesus, we are lost. We want every person to be in a growing relationship with Jesus, and we design our services so you don’t just hear about Jesus, you have the opportunity to experience the reality of His presence in a way that connects to your life.
God has created every person to do good works and to demonstrate his compassion to others. We are always looking for opportunities to meet the needs of those around us, whether that means helping those who are spiritually lost to find Christ, or serving a meal to the hungry. It’s not about us, it’s about what Jesus wants to do in and through us.
We are a constantly growing community of people who know that we will never reach our God-given potential without life-giving relationships with others. God’s plan for our growth goes way beyond attending services. We are committed to providing opportunities in smaller groups to know others and to be known. We want to do life together.
OUR CHURCH HISTORY
In 1943, a group of people went to a church in Bellevue, IL, to hear Pastor Walter “Happy” Smith preach in revival. He and his wife Ada were asked to start a church (Glad Tidings Assembly of God) in Peoria. Glad Tidings first met in a storefront building on Prospect Road. Pastor Smith was the pastor of the church until 1954. The church later moved to a mattress factory on South Adams Street just below Western Avenue. They would later move from that location to a basement church at Faraday and Humboldt Street in 1948. In 1954, an evangelist Harold Hamilton was invited to hold a series of revival meetings at Glad Tidings. During those days of revival, Pastor Hamilton’s love for the young congregation became clear. When Pastor Smith moved on to a new pastorate, Pastor Hamilton was asked to lead the congregation. In 1972, his leadership led to the completion of a new facility at our current East Peoria location. Pastor Gary Watkins was asked to be the church’s first Associate Pastor. During his tenure, the building houses the Fellowship Hall, Education, Youth, Sunday School, and Children’s Ministries. It was later renamed the Smith-Hamilton Center in honor of these two men when the current worship facility was dedicated in 1991. In 1979, Pastor Watkins was asked to become the church’s third pastor, and in 1984 Pastor Gene Cope led Glad Tidings as its fourth pastor. In 1991, Pastor Cope led the congregation in expanding the church again into a larger facility. In 1999, Pastor Watkins returned to pastor Glad Tidings after fulfilling God’s call in other pastorates. After Pastor Watkins’ untimely death, Pastor Fred Doughty was asked to become the sixth pastor in 2005. He pastored the church for 15 years and was followed by Pastor Paul Hinzman, the church's current pastor, in November 2020.
Glad Tidings today continues to be a congregation where we discover together what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus. We strive to be a family of faith that embraces the teachings of the Bible wholeheartedly. Living a life that proves to be significant and valuable begins with a thorough understanding of and adherence to Biblical teaching. Glad Tidings began with the mission of communicating this message to people around the world, and remains the mission of our congregation to this day.