301 North 4th Street  Champaign, IL 61820
Call for information
(217) 356-2262
Independent organization
Payment Method
Free service
Wheelchair accessibility

empty tomb, inc. is located in Champaign, Illinois. It is a Christian service and research organization. empty tomb, inc. serves the church in different ways, providing both a financial discipleship strategy and information about church giving patterns on a national level. On a local level in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area, empty tomb, inc. provides opportunities for volunteers to become involved in meeting various needs in Jesus' name. You can contact empty tomb by e-mail by clicking here.

Programs on the National Level:
On the national level, empty tomb provides both a financial discipleship strategy as well as information on church giving patterns.

  • Research/Education
    Research into church stewardship patterns has produced The State of Church Giving series on national church giving patterns. The Poor Have Faces (Baker Book House, 1992) applies the research to practical Christian discipleship. The results of a multi-year study on stewardship patterns were published as Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church (Baker Books, 1996). A small group strategy is presented in At Ease: Discussing Money and Values in Small Groups (Alban Institute, 1998), written with U. Milo Kaufmann.
  • The National Money for Missions Program ®
    This ministry is designed to help historically Christian congregations increase missions spending as a portion of total spending. Efforts include Mission Match ®, the Wake the Sleeping Giant ® campaign, the Discipleship tree TM, and MissionMATCHanExpense ®.

Works on the local level:
In the Champaign-Urbana, IL area, the works through empty tomb serve as contact points between richer Christians and people in need, both Christians and non-Christians. Volunteers are active members of historically Christian congregations.

  • Christian Family to Family Relationships
    This work provides support structures and encourages financial assistance and friendship between Christians with resources and families in need.
  • Christian Health Services
    Christian Health Services work helps meet the health needs of financially poorer people by providing limited funds for medical needs, primarily prescriptions; also, layettes and other items are provided to needy families, generally the mothers.
  • Clothing Work
    Clothing can be dropped off, and then is sorted and made available free in Jesus' name. Help is needed in sorting clothes and greeting people.
  • Free Food Work
    Congregations receive calls from empty tomb and then deliver groceries provided by the church to the family or individual in need. More congregations who are able to deliver food are needed.
  • Furniture Work
    Donated furniture is picked up and delivered to needy households. Volunteers are needed both to pick up and deliver the furniture in empty tomb's furniture truck.
  • Helping Work
    Limited cash assistance is available for various emergency needs, such as rent, power bills, and automobile gasoline. Additional funds are needed here.
  • Home Maintenance Work
    Designed to help low-income people who own their homes to make renovations; labor is done free in Jesus' name. Laborers are needed to work on projects.



empty tomb, inc. began informally before growing into the large, multifaceted organization that it is today. In the early 1970s, John and Sylvia were both studying at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  In 1971 they moved into and repaired an empty house on University Avenue. Sylvia stated in an interview that, “The community found us. People began bringing people [to the house] and saying, ‘Oh, here’s this person—they’re just up from Mississippi and they have nothing.’ We would call churches sort of informally and say, ‘We have a family and they have nothing and they need things.’” As they became more involved in the community, it was apparent that Champaign-Urbana was missing a Christian resource organization. empty tomb was incorporated in 1970 and was run full-time from the house provided by a donor for use by empty tomb, inc. by 1972. empty tomb acquired their first Macintosh computer in 1985 and was fully wired for the Internet by 1990 when they moved to their current location, built and designed specifically for their needs.


External Links

This organization participated in a UIUC study on community technology use. For more on that see Study of UC2B Anchor Institutions' Technology Use