Kewanee’s downtown House of Prayer church gets a makeover in former Furniture Country building

A group of college students from Florida spent their spring break cleaning up the former Furniture Country location in Kewanee, purchased last year by Jesus and Liz Bermudez who have opened The Kewanee House of Prayer in a portion of the complex. Taking a break from sweeping in front of a service elevator are, front row from the left: Kayla Hemby, Kevin Krienitz and Aliesa Boisvert. Standing: Kailey Walck, Josh Garboski, Hannah Johnston and Paulina Baidoo.

While college students from the Midwest headed for the sunny beaches of Florida for spring break last week, a group of students from Southeastern University headed north to Kewanee to help build a new church.

The seven-member team from Lakeland, Fla., spent a week at the Kewanee House of Prayer, a new congregation which now meets weekly in the former Furniture Country building in the 100 block of North Main Street.

The complex of three attached buildings, including the historic Redmen building, built in 1907 and at one time Kewanee’s largest fraternal lodge, was purchased at auction last January by pastor Jesus Bermudez and his wife Liz.

The move was a fulfillment of a dream the couple felt led to fulfill by their faith.

Since then, the smaller north storefront has since been made into a comfortable meeting room for worship services and a nursery. A second-floor apartment is now occupied and Bermudez said long-range goals are to convert the larger south building into a first-floor sanctuary and living quarters on the second floor. The middle Redmen building will be an area for meetings, gatherings and other activities.