Sterling Twin City Nazarene School

First Church of the Nazarene
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Chapel Building – Classrooms in back

The History Of Twin City Nazarene

Sterling, Illinois is located along the Rock River 45 miles east of the Quad City Area, 75 miles north of Peoria, 52 miles southwest of Rockford and 80 miles west of Chicagoland. The Union Pacific “Overland Route” from San Fransisco to Chicago runs through the town. Religion is a well accomidated in Sterling, as there are at least 25 church organizations in the town of 15,500. The “twin” in the school is Rock Falls, the city across the Rock River from Sterling.

The Nazarene Church at the corner of 5th Street and 13th Avenue was built in 1941 and the adjoining H.C. Hatton Center was built a time later. In 1979, the Nazarene started to house a high school curriculum, with an athletic program, and did so for 12 years. It provided “Education with a Christian Purpose”. Classes were held in the church basement and Hatton Center. Principal Wendy Parsons had a staff of four teachers and five aids and a first year enrollment of 59. At one time top enrollment was over 200.

In 1991, the school decided to seperate itself from the Nazarene and become a non-denominational school, ending the existance of Twin City Nazarene. The school is now located in nearby Galt and is called Sterling Christian School.

There are plans for a website dedicated to the alumni of Twin City Nazarene, built by TCN graduate Kevin Smoot. The site is under construction at this time, but the link is: .

Twin City Nazarene School “Quick Facts”:

Year opened:   1979

Year closed:     1991

School colors:  Red and White

H.C. Hatton Center
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Dr. H.C. Hatton

From the Sterling Nazarene Church website:

Dr. H. C. Hatton began his pastorate in Sterling First Church of the Nazarene July 15, 1945. At that time the membership stood at 41, and at the time of his retirement it totaled 529.

In 1973, Olivet Nazarene University conferred upon him the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. He served twice as President of the local Ministerial Association. He served as Chaplain of the Sterling Police Department for many years. He was a member of the Mounted Patrol, served three years on the local hospital board, and served on the Sesquicentennial Committee for the City of Sterling. He served as a Chaplain of the Illinois House of Representatives three times.

Dr. Hatton was also active in his own Nazarene circles. While pastoring in Sterling, he has served under four District Superintendents: Dr. E. O. Chalfant, Dr. Lyle E. Eckley, Dr. Floyd Pounds and Rev. F. Thomas Bailey. He served eight years as the first District Youth President of the Northwestern Illinois District. He served forty-three years on the Credentials Board and forty-three years on the District Board of Appeals. He also served on the District Church School Board, District Advisory Board and thirty years on the Olivet Nazarene Board of Trustees.

Dr. Hatton is the founder of the Sterling Christian School (formerly Twin City Nazarene School), which began in the fall of 1978. Due to heavy financial difficulties the school closed its residency at the church in the spring of 1992. It continues to operate in Galt, Illinois under the sponsorship of community churches.

Dr. Hatton served as the pastor of Sterling First Church with the longest tenure of any pastor in the city of Sterling at his retirement in July of 1991, It is also believed that he is one of the few pastors with his length of tenure, 46 years, at one pastorate.

At the time of his retirement the Official Church Board of Sterling First Church bestowed on him the title of Pastor Emeritus, indicating honor and respect for his many years of service to the church and to the Lord.

Dr. Hatton was born on February 24, 1917 in Story, IN, the son of James and Lela (Woods) Hatton. He married Sarah Geraldine Spangler on June 21, 1941, in Ottumwa, IA. Dr. Hatton passed away on February 5, 2008.


Information is needed on the athletic success of Twin City Nazarene School. They competed in the Northern Illinois Christian Confernece with fellow IHSGD school Galesburg Costa.

The following sports information comes from TCN grad Kevin Smoot (’85):

“In the beginning the high school boys basketball and girls basketball/volleyball games were held at Westwood Sports Complex and then moved to the Armory in Rock Falls. In the later years I believe the games were held at St. Mary’s in Sterling.”

Though not an IHSA member school, the accomplishments were as hard fought and real as those accomplished by a public or private school in the IHSA.

Inside H.C. Hatton Center
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Twin City Nazarene School

Seeking More Information

More information is being sought about Twin City Nazarene School; use the Guest Commentary Form to sumbit. Corrections are welcome as well. If you have more Information about Twin City Nazarene School, including a photo of the school, nickname, and other great teams and high school memories you would like to share please use the Guest Commentary Form or you may also write us at:


Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  IL  60631

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