Reverend Holly always offers a helping hand at EBCC's Food Pantry on Saturday mornings.
The EBCC Impact: Serving Others in the East Bluff
A Conversation with Reverend Simon Holly
By: Grayson Bourke
Simon Holly has worked in the East Bluff for over 20 years. To some folks, that is a long time to
dedicate oneself to community improvement. For Simon, it seems like a life-calling. Currently, Simon is
the Reverend at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in the East Bluff. Not only has he had an
impact on his congregation, but he has had a major, continuous impact on the East Bluff Community
Center (EBCC) by helping found EBCC’s Food Pantry.
The EBCC Food Pantry was founded in September 2015 after another organization was no longer
able to sustain its sponsorship, and that vacancy left a void in the neighborhood. Simon and other
like-minded volunteers, such as our first Executive Director Jim Combs and board member Tom Stone,
established the food pantry under the EBCC name to maintain this critical service for East Bluff
community members. Simon has been here ever since, helping to ensure that the pantry runs smoothly
every Saturday. He said “the EBCC has to be a stabilizing force in the neighborhood. A place that people
can look to, and a place that people can gather.”
Typically, visitors to the East Bluff Food Pantry enjoy a hot breakfast made by the Peoria Secular
Humanist Society, one of the EBCC’s resident agencies at our campus at 512 Kansas Street. That is one of
the primary services the Humanists offered prior to the pandemic, and they look forward to resuming
this service as soon as it is safe to do so. Even people outside the Humanists’ organization miss the free
hot breakfasts: “I miss the breakfast because it was nice seeing people!” stated Simon.
We agree it will be nice seeing people, Simon, as the EBCC begins to open for services again in
accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. For example, we are now open for rentals of 50 people or
less! We offer community rooms, a commercial kitchen, and a gym for your next gathering. Come book
your next birthday party or event with us by calling us at (309) – 839 – 0781, by emailing us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking the Reservations tab on our website,
As of recently, Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church is doing in-person services while
maintaining distance and utilizing masks and hand sanitizer. The church is located at 711 E Arcadia, just
behind the Family Dollar on Wisconsin Avenue If you would like to attend services or want to speak with
Reverend Holly, contact the church at (309) – 685 – 3526.