Bird and Margaret Van Leer had a passion for sacred art, music and drama. They also supported learning and spiritual growth through bible study and related activities in their community. Their home was an active meeting place for believers of all Christian denominations wanting to grow in their faith.
In the late 1930s, Mrs. Van Leer offered her home and grounds to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, to be used as a satellite campus. For reasons unknown, the Institute turned down her offer.
When Mrs. Van Leer passed away in 1949, she willed her estate and home to the Immanuel Bible Foundation, to be managed by a Board of Directors. Her desire was to offer the community a non-denominational place to congregate, learn and grow spiritually.
Over the years, the Van Leers’ love of sacred art, music and drama has been kept alive, as the house has been home to music and art lessons, special events and a sacred music lending library. Their love of learning has been carried forth with various bible study groups meeting in the home.