On a rare day that I had a cell-phone with me in the car, my wife called to ask where I was and if I got lost on the way to buy a gallon of milk. I said that I was below the bluff staring at this incredible church (that had obviously seen better days.)
Thanks to C.J. Summers, I can now identify it as the old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, built in 1881, at the corner of Saratoga and McBean Streets, just off Harmon Highway.
It is currently called The Word Of Faith Christian Center.
Here is a portion of the text from Historic Peoria:
By 1861 just a few blocks away, the Irish/English speaking Catholics formed St. Patrick’s parish, and in 1863 they constructed a frame church on High Street (not today’s High St.) between Cedar and Linden Streets. This was in the general area near the old Webster School, a block south of today’s MacArthur Hwy. Continued growth led in 1880 to the construction of a large church at the corner of Saratoga and McBean Streets. Just after the building was completed, much of it was burned, and a new large brick structure was erected on the same site and dedicated in November of 1881. This site grew to a large complex including the church, a convent, and education facilities.
Declining population in the area during the 1960s and 1970s led to the consolidation of the St. Patrick and St. Joseph parishes into a new parish called St. Martin de Porres, headquartered at the former St. Joseph’s church on South Sheridan. The St. Patrick church was sold to the Miracle Life Cathedral in 1978. In 1980 the building went to the Pentecostal Temple Charismatic and in 1992 to the Word of Faith Christian Center. In 1998 substantial portions of the complex were involved in a large fire believed to have been arson.