History of St. John the Baptist Church
St. John's Church is a member of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.
The first church in Clinton was built before 1870 but the exact date is unknown. It was a mission of the Holy Trinity Parish, Bloomington, from 1853 until November 1864 when it was changed to be attached to El Paso. Rev. Francis Schreiber served Clinton from March 1877 unti October 1873, and again from March 1877 until October 1878. The Rev. Wendelin Revis resided at Wapella and cared for Clinton from 1873 to 1877. The parish was again a mission of Wapella from November 1878 to 1895.
In 1895, the Rev. Michael Dooling built a parish house in Clinton, transferred his residence from Wapella, and became the first pastor of St,. John the Baptist Church. The cornerstone of the present church building was laid in September 1903. Bishop John L. Spalding and Bishop P.J. O'Reilly dedicated the building November 13, 1904.
in September 1914, Father Stephen Moore became pastor and it was during his tenure a two-story brick school was built. The parochial elementary school was under the supervision of the Benedictine Sisters of Nauvoo who taught the first through eighth grades in four classrooms. The Sisters lived in the upper floor of the building. The school was maintained from 1915 to 1968. The building was then used for meetings of church societies, Christine Doctrine classes, socials and as a kindergarten center for the Clinton Community School District. During the tenure of Father Robert Creager a parish center was built and dedicated in 1980. The old school building was razed in 1983.
The church building under went an extensive renovation in 2004. The project was concluded with a centennial dedication of the church in November 2004.