nauvoo center


While visiting Nauvoo, Illinois in the late 1980s, a group of Christians had the idea of opening an information & ministry center in the historic Mormon colony. Unlike the other visitor centers that were already in operation in Nauvoo, this center would present a non-Mormon, evangelical Christian perspective of Nauvoo and its important religious history. An 1880s store-front was purchased to house the Center -- located just two blocks from the recently rebuilt Mormon temple. Today the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center (NCVC) continues to carry out the original vision of its founders. It serves as a voice for historic, Biblical Christianity in a town that helped forge one of the most influencial spiritual movements of our time. The NCVC is a gospel lighthouse guiding people of all faiths and backgrounds who visit Nauvoo to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  


Mormon refugees from Missouri began pouring into Illinois in 1839, hoping to find a peaceful habitation for their families. In the beginning that dream seemed within their grasp as they settled on a tranquil bend of the Mississippi River North of Quincy. Nauvoo quickly grew into a city of 12,000 citizens with tidy brick homes, gardens and shops lining newly surveyed streets. A white granite temple being erected at the highest point of the city promised the mysteries of heaven & the keys to salvation. As in Missouri, relations between Mormons and early settlers began to sour. Tensions continued to escalate even after a mob attacked and killed LDS founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Within six years of its meteoric rise, Nauvoo was abandoned by the Mormons. It became the launching point for the Mormon Trail to present-day Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young. In the 1960s LDS members began an effort to purchase and restore many of Nauvoo's Mormon-period homes & shops. Untold millions have since been invested in this effort, and today the LDS Church provides tours of many Nauvoo sites, horse-drawn wagon rides, demonstrations of pioneer life and nightly entertainment.