The Illinois Great Rivers Conference is comprised of all or part of 87 counties in downstate Illinois. The episcopal area known as the Illinois Area was formed in 1960 as the former Central Illinois and Southern Illinois conferences shared a bishop which was located in Springfield. Prior to 1960, the presiding bishop lived in Chicago and presided over the entire state. In 1996, the former Central Illinois and Southern Illinois Conferences voted to merge and formed the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Within the conference, 10 regional areas (districts) work to deploy pastors and supervise ministry and mission.
The North Central Jurisdiction establishes the boundaries of the Conference as: the part of the State of Illlinois below a line beginning at the point where Whiteside County intersects the Mississippi River, proceeding south along the west boundary of Whiteside County to Highway 78; then diagonally southeast to the point where Route 23 intersects the east boundary of Henry County. Continue on the diagonal to the point where County Highway 24 intersects County Highway 28; then straight east along a line designated as 1200N to the center of the Illinois River. Continue east along the Illinois River to the point where the west boundary of Will County intersects the Illinois (DesPlaines) River. Turn south following the west boundary of Will County to Highway 113. Turn east on Highway 113 following a straight line which becomes the south boundary of Will County and proceed on the Illinois-Indiana state line.