The Church of Peace United Church of Christ is proud of its German ancestry.  The church was founded 120 years ago in Rock Island by several immigrant families who wanted to hear the church services and music in their native language.  The members helped each other and their neighbors as the Church of Peace grew in size and stature.

Today the church continues to help its neighbors by offering English classes, books for the neighborhood school children, and meals and snacks for children.  For those who need emergency assistance, the food pantry is open Saturday mornings from 9-11:00 a.m.

Flutist Jeffrey Cohan has volunteered to perform a recital at the church to support the church’s mission of goodwill in the community.  To assist with the concert on Sunday, October 18 at 3 p.m., he has asked his friend and mentor Walter Haedrich to join him.  Mary Kae Waytenick is accompanist and special guest performer is violinist and Pastor Mariah Marlin-Warfield.  The concert is part of the Black Hawk Chamber Music Festival concert series.

Jeffrey Cohan, a good friend and member of the congregation, grew up in the Quad Cities where he studied with Walter and performed as soloist for many organizations.  He attended and taught at Indiana University, won many competitions, performed in 24 different countries, and became the foremost authority on early flutes.  Cohan founded the Black Hawk Chamber Music Festival giving performances in the Quad Cities.

Walter, who turns 99 in December, has lived a life that reads like a movie script.  Born in Germany the youngest of 8 children, he mastered the harmonica at age 3, learned the violin in order to eat and attend school, mastered a Mozart piano sonata for an education, emigrated from Germany to the U.S., was hired as principal flutist for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in 1948, and learned to tune pianos.  His teaching has inspired hundreds of young flutists.

Jeffrey’s programs are always as interesting to hear as they are fun to watch.  The music will be varied including excerpts from Carmen, turn of the century quartets, Chopin piano waltzes.  Following the 3:00 p.m. concert on Sunday, October 18 at the Church of Peace, there will be a cookies and punch reception.  Concert attendees are asked to make a generous free-will donation to the mission of the Church of Peace.

The Church of Peace is located at 1114 12th Street, Rock Island, Ill.  Phone number is 309-788-6357 or visit

The Church of Peace United Church of Christ has been located in Rock Island since 1895.  Founded by German immigrants, the church was originally called Deutsche Evangelicalische Friedens Gemeinde or German Evangelical Peace Church.  In 1912, the congregation built the church at its current location on 12th Street and 12th Avenue.  The church is involved in outreach efforts through its Book Nook, Meal programs, new Peacepals literacy tutoring program, ESL Classes, Immigrant Cancer Education, Diapers for Baby Jesus, and Saturday food pantry.

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