It was the brainchild of a man, a Christian man who wanted to help the area youth. And Pastor Jim Small’s effort now finds several young people sharing in the concept of a ‘safe place to hang out.’
It was Pastor Small who took an idea, ran with it, gathered supporters, and opened what’s known today as the Garage Community Center in Gilman. Several other supporters, individuals and businesses, continue to generate interest and raise money to make sure the Gilman-Onarga area young people have that safe place to visit and have fun.
Since opening in June, 700-plus youth have visited the Friday Night Hangout after Iroquois West Road games . The Home games finds the young people gathering for the 5th Quarter at the Garage Community Center. And the end result, no doubt, will find Pastor Jim Small smiling down at the many people, in years to come, who will share in the glory of
Pastor Small died of cancer at this home Wednesday. He was 63.
Friends say Jim Small was quite a Christian leader, leading the Onarga Christian Church, serving as a Village Board member, helping manage the Prairie States Christian Camp, directing the start-up of the Youth of Christ organization, serving as chaplain at IMH and providing spiritual leadership for the IMH Hospice program.
Oh yes, Jim was also the 2015 Onarga Citizen-of-the-Year. Oh, how he’ll be missed !