Riley Methodist Church (1898)

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In 2009, the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church transferred ownership of this 1898 country church to the McHenry County Historical Society. Built for $1,600 in 1897, the building was dedicated on Feb. 27, 1898. The Marengo Baptist Church donated its old pulpit to the new church, hauled there by Dell Anderson. The Rev. D.A. Evans of Chicago was instrumental in building the new church, soliciting donations so that it could be dedicated free of debt. The building first served as a Congregational church and later under the auspices of ministers of varying denominations. The 1862 plat map of McHenry County appears to show a church at Riley Center. However, the 1877 Directory of McHenry County, Illinois, states: “Having plenty of facilities in adjoining townships, they [Riley residents] have erected no church within their limits.” Some sources state that church services in Riley were held in private homes as early as 1858. When the town hall was built, services were held there. The 1868 Riley Town Hall remains the oldest active town hall in in McHenry County.


Riley Methodist Church (1898), is at 9316 Riley Road in Marengo, IL.

Riley Methodist Church is ideal for weddings, baptisms, or any religious event. Clergy and music are not provided.

Cost: $100.00/hour
(Two-hour minimum on weekends)

Terms: Renter shall pay all rental fees prior to the occupancy of the facility. A signed Rental Agreement and payment of the required fees guarantees the rental space and date.

  • A $50 deposit is due at the time of booking to hold your date.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated, the total rental amount is due 30 days before the scheduled event date.
  • Failure to meet any payment deadline may result in the cancellation of your Rental Agreement.

CAPACITY: The User agrees to ensure that no more than 100 people will be in the church at any time.

SMOKING: No smoking or open flames (i.e., candles) allowed in the church.

ALCOHOL: There is NO alcohol permitted in or on the premises.

FOOD: There is NO food permitted inside the church.

The User assumes liability for loss or damage to Society property that results from its use of the facility and agrees to hold the Society harmless for loss or damage to the persons or property of its members or guests while at the Riley Methodist Church.

The User must provide proof of general liability via a certificate of insurance. The insurance policy shall list as Additional Insured the McHenry County Historical Society, its agents, officers, servant, and employees, insofar as the operations under this contract are concerned. The amount of commercial general liability coverage in this special events policy shall not be less than $1 million per occurrence, $2 million aggregate. * For more information, contact the McHenry County Historical Society at 815-923-2267. To reserve the church, email THIS FORM to

• It is important to note that because of the building's age and space restrictions on existing parcel, there are no restroom facilities or running water on the property. However, arrangements can be made with Riley Township immediately next door to use its town hall, which also provides private space for the wedding party. For information, email Riley Township Supervisor Karen Schnable at

Click on the photo below for a slideshow of images.