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Antioch Baptist Church Chicago Il

Fundraising Begins At Antioch Missionary Baptist Church After Fire

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church will rebuild, remain in Englewood

May 15, 2022 / 08:35 PM CDT

May 15, 2022 / 08:35 PM CDT

CHICAGO One month after a fire destroyed a historic Englewood church, leaders officially kicked off the Help Antioch Build campaign.

On Sunday, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church members looked ahead to the future, reading a proclamation from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that declared May 15 Help Build Antioch Sunday to help fundraising events.

After Good Friday services, a fire ravaged the historic building at 6248 South Stewart in Englewood. Chicago firefighters battled the blaze at the church for several days in mid-April, with demolition crews dismantling the remaining wreckage in the weeks since.

Last Friday, lead pastor Gerald Dew laid out his vision to rebuild.

We want that new building to have easy access to everyone, Dew said. A fully functioning state-of-the-art computer lab that can serve our community and congregation.

In addition to the worship space, the rebuild will include zones for health and wellness and youth empowerment.

The Historical Significance Of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church In Englewood

The historical importance of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in the Englewood community cannot be overstated.

The church has built housing up and down 63rd Street and elsewhere in Englewood and beyond. The church has also offered social services.

Under the Rev. Dr. Wilbur Nathan Daniel, the church founded the nonprofit Antioch Foundation. The foundation became the sponsoring entity of the Eden Green development at 131st Street and Indiana Avenue for which Antioch said it became the first church in the country to take advantage of Section 202 of the National Housing Act. The act, passed during the Eisenhower Administration, provided government loans for nonprofits to develop low- to moderate-income housing.

The first families at Eden Green moved in on Sept. 1, 1968, the church said.

Antioch went on to develop more affordable housing including the Antioch Haven Homes, the Roseanna Burrell Homes, the Wentworth Haven Homes, the Rose Haven Manor, the Paradise Haven Homes, the West Haven Homes, and the Normal Haven Homes.

Antioch also became a multi-site church as it developed housing.

Fire At Antioch Church In Englewood Eerily Similar To Pilgrim Baptist Fire

Easter weekend was an emotional time for members of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Englewood. A fire at the church rekindled memories of what happened to the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bronzeville 16 years ago.

Two hours after the church hosted a Good Friday service, a massive fire gutted the building at 6248 S. Stewart Ave. Approximately 184 firefighters with more than 50 pieces of equipment battled the blaze that destroyed the entire roof.

While members were preparing to hold Easter Sunday worship services at Callahan Funeral Home, firefighters made the second of three trips back to the church late Monday, April 18 after the fire reignited from the smoldering debris.

When the smoke cleared, the Chicago Fire Department learned that the accidental fire was caused by workers using a propane tank as they were repairing the roof. That explanation is eerily similar to the fire in 2006 that wiped out Pilgrim Baptist Church, known as The birthplace of Gospel music.

An iconic masterpiece by renowned Architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, the Pilgrim Baptist Church building was an official Chicago Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Sam Cooke were among prominent gospel vocalists who sang at the church.

Antioch counted more than 4,500 members by the 1990s, according to the church website.

Hundreds packed the Callahan Funeral Home Sunday, where Antioch held its Easter worship service.

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Pastor Dew: Church Will Find A Way To Hold Easter Services

As the fire was brought under control, Pastor Dew was canvassing the area and talking to the firefighters who worked so hard to put the fire out.

The pastor reiterated that the church is so much more than just a building to the area.

Dew said the Good Friday service started at noon, and everyone was out around 2 p.m. He got news a little later that the church was on fire.

When he got the call, he saw the smoke billowing from all the way from 95th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway. He rushed up to the church only to see the fire get worse.

But he emphasized what is important is the congregation is OK.

“The church is not a building. The church is the people and there was no injuries no loss of life. So the church is still alive. The church is still open. I just know we will have Easter service,” Rev. Dew said. “We will celebrate. We will rejoice. We will praise the Lord.”

Diversity Equity & Inclusion

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Cause Of Fire That Torched Englewood Baptist Church Released: Officials

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The blaze was accidentally sparked being used to work on the churchs roof, the Chicago Fire Department determined. The fire reignited two additional times in the following days.

In its statement, the city said it is committed to continuing to work closely with the leadership of the Antioch Missionary Baptist as they deal with the loss of this historic community pillar.

The church, at 6248 S. Stewart Ave., has been home to the Antioch MBC congregation since 1958.

Reverend Dr Gerald M Dew

Pastor Gerald M. Dew is the humble pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois. He is married to the lovely Marva Dew and is the father of Reverend Samuel and Eboni Dew. Pastor Dew serves his congregation as a prolific preacher, visionary teacher, and fearless leader. He is a strong believer in the power of Gods word and Gods people. While under the pastoral leadership of his father, the late Reverend Albert Dew, Pastor Dew accepted Christ at a young age and began preaching in Muncie, Indiana at age 19. He later moved to Houston, Texas and was installed as the 7th pastor of the historic Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church in 1984 at age 24. Pastor Dew faithfully served Greater Zion for 16 years.

In January 2001, Pastor Dew answered the call of God on his life and moved to Chicago, Illinois to serve as the 4th pastor of the nationally renowned Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Dew continued to lead Gods people onward and upward. By instituting Mission, Vision, and Standard statements, Antioch was able to further focus its efforts to evangelize the world and make disciples for Christ. Pastor Dew passionately encourages members to become dedicated church members, serious students of the Word, involved in ministry, engaged in evangelism, and fully devoted followers of Christ. These beliefs drive the continued growth of Antioch and its impact in the Englewood community and beyond.

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Mayor Lightfoot: ‘antioch Is An Anchor In Englewood’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a thread of tweets Friday evening in the wake of the fire.

“My thoughts are with the congregation and the brave firefighters who worked to put out the blaze at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Antioch is an anchor in Englewood, and I hope those impacted will find solace in their vibrant church community and their faith,” the mayor wrote.

My thoughts are with the congregation and the brave firefighters who worked to put out the blaze at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.Antioch is an anchor in Englewood, and I hope those impacted will find solace in their vibrant church community and their faith.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

Antioch Missionary Baptist Being Demolished Days After Fire But Church Leaders Vow To Rebuild In Englewood

Fire at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicagos Englewood neighborhood was caused by roof wor

Officials with the city’s buildings department said the Englewood church is not structurally sound and poses a potential danger to surrounding buildings and public safety.

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ENGLEWOOD A historic Englewood church is being demolished Wednesday, days after a devastating fire gutted the 1880s structure.

Crews began tearing down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 6248 S. Stewart Ave., Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out Friday afternoon just hours after the church hosted a Good Friday service. On Saturday, the Office of Fire Investigations determined a roofers propane torch accidentally touched off the blaze.

The fire destroyed the roof of the century-old building, leaving a single pillar and shattered windows. Firefighters worked to put out the fire for at least three days as fallen material from the roof continuously rekindled.

Its devastating to see the building like this, Walton said. We were proud. This was Gods house.

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Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Church, synagogue, etc

Foundation Status:

Church 170


Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary .

Englewood Church Leaders Lay Out Plans To Rebuild Antioch Missionary Baptist

Englewood church leaders lay out plans to rebuild Antioch Missionary Baptist

While crews knock down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, the plans to rebuild on the same spot at Englewood and Stewart avenues, were announced Thursday morning.

CHICAGO – While crews knock down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, the plans to rebuild on the same spot at Englewood and Stewart avenues, were announced Thursday morning.

Ministers from around the city pledged support.

Demolition crews have been drilling into the stone walls and pushing debris into the building, to safely take apart the large structure.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church caught fire on Good Friday after service, the result of a torch used for roof repairs. The fire rekindled over several days.

The structure was determined to be a hazard to the neighborhood. It could collapse.

Fire at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicagos Englewood neighborhood was caused by roof work

The Chicago Fire Department said on Saturday that a devastating fire at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in the Englewood neighborhood was “accidental and caused by work being done on the building roof using a propane torch.” Nate Rodgers reports.

Pastor Gerald Dew said only the cross-shaped sign could be saved.

Dew evoked the resurrection of Jesus when talking about the new construction.

“You’re tearing it down,” he said. “We will raise it up again. Right here for Englewood and beyond.”

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Chicagos Blessed With A Motherlode Of Stunning Churches

What kind of God allows a church to burn down on Good Friday?

Thats the question that came to mind when the 130-year-old Antioch Missionary Baptist Church at Stewart and 63rd Street went up in flames earlier this month, followed by a familiar answer: the same god that has allowed slavery, Holocaust, plague, war, and the whole human history of disaster.

Antiochs pastor, the Reverend Gerald Dew, had a different, more positive take on it. Faced with an inferno, he saw opportunity.

On Easter Sunday, according to news reports, Dew told his flock that, just as Jesus rose from the dead, resurrection will be possible for Antioch Baptist. He vowed that the congregation will raise money to rebuild on the same Englewood site.

Turned out that this fire, like the one that took down Adler and Sullivans Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bronzeville in 2006 , was caused by maintenance work. In this case, a roofers torch gone awry. The damage to Antiochs imposing Romanesque building, designed by Bell & Swift for a previous Baptist congregation and home to the current one since 1958, was so severe that the city ordered that the massive structure be taken down immediately.

Not an easy task: the place was built for the ages. Anyone who happened by toward the end of last week isnt likely to forget the sight of the roofless but still fortress-like shell, open to the elements.

South Side Chicago Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Severely Damaged By Fire

Antioch Mission Baptist Church Editorial Photo

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This entry was posted on April 20 2022 by Eric


images of antioch missionary baptist church shortly after it was badly damaged by fire on good friday.

built as the baptist church of englewood, the rock-faced romanesque style building was designed by the architectural firm of bell and swift and built by l. h. prentice in 1890.

the majority of the original art glass windows were likely executed by chicago’s healy and millet.

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Church Members Watch In Horror

A Good Friday service had been held at the church at noon, about two and a half hours before the fire.

People were standing near the burning church in shock Friday afternoon. Some had only been out of the Good Friday service at the church for a few hours.

One woman standing and watching had been going to the church since she was 10 years old.

The woman said she had not spoken to the pastor, but she said he had delivered a beautiful sermon for Good Friday.

Police were closing off streets farther and farther back from the church. On the north side of the church, Graves saw smoke billowing from a window near the roof of the church.

‘it’s Been A Staple In This Community For Years’

Several people came out to watch the fire many of them lifetime members of the church.

One man who said he is 31 years old said he was watching his childhood memories burn with the church. He said the church was so much more than just a church for him and his family.

“It’s a lot of childhood memories going down in these flames right now. I grew up here I did Sunday school, vacation Bible school, drill team, mime team, youth choir, everything,” said the man, Jerell Clay.

“I’m hurt. I’m hurt. I understand that it’s just a building I understand that. I know the church is in your heart,” added parishioner Tara Phillips. “But this is a building that we have been coming to for years. It’s been a staple in this community for years.”

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Fire Raised To Three Alarms

CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports the fire was easily able to accelerate in high spaces that are not readily accessible to hose lines. Between that and the heavy timber construction of the roof, the fire was easily able to grow out of control.

Firefighters trained hose lines from tower ladder trucks. They went for a defensive operation from the outside, with no firefighters fighting the blaze from inside the building.

The fire completely burned away the roof structure, leaving a lot of heavy timber crashing to the floor of the church. Pews were also likely on fire inside the structure.

Firefighters are expected to be battling the blaze well into the evening.

2 11 for Antioch church 63 Stewart

Cause Of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Fire Was Accidental: Cfd

Fire at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church ruled accidental

The blaze that destroyed Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Englewood was accidental, the Chicago Fire Department has determined.

CHICAGO, Illinois — The blaze that destroyed Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Englewood was accidental, the Chicago Fire Department has determined. The fire erupted on Good Friday and flared up again Saturday morning.

CFD said the fire started due to work being done on the roof using a propane torch.

Firefighters have been back several times, including Saturday morning when the flames reignited.

“Oh my God, what a destruction,” said Leslie Campbell, who works at the church. “What are we going to do?”

Campbell has been a security guard at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for nearly 30 years, and he never expected to see his church destroyed.

“I was very surprised because it’s a strong church,” he said.

The destruction of the church brought many out to see the aftermath, including those who grew up in it like Julius Tucker.

“I was christened here and baptized here, also earned my first paycheck here,” said Tucker.

CFD said since the roof collapsed it’s impossible to get inside safely.

“At the present it’s unstable for us to go in,” said Deputy District Chief Curtis Hudson. “That’s why we keep coming back for rekindles because we can’t get to the seed of the fire from where our point of vantage is.”

The church will hold its Easter service at Calahan Funeral Home.

“The church will keep its get together, and I’ll be there,” said Campbell.

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Fire Under Control Firefighters Chase Hot Spots

Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Donald Walker said the fire at Antioch Missionary Baptist was first reported at 2:16 p.m. It was raised to a 2-11 alarm at 2:25 p.m., and a 3-11 alarm at 3:07 p.m.

Each alarm brings more equipment and manpower to the scene.

Responding companies found heavy fire coming from the roof. The roof is a truss roof a kind of construction that is prone to collapsing once heavy fire has reached it.

The cause of the fire was under investigation Friday afternoon.

Demolition Underway For Historic Chicago Church After Devastating Fire

Demolition begins at historic South Side Chicago church after fire

Demolition crews began tearing down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, days after a fire all but destroyed the historic Englewood church.

CHICAGO – Demolition crews began tearing down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, days after a fire all but destroyed the historic Englewood church.

Building inspectors ordered the demolition because the church, left structurally unsound after the fire, “poses a potential danger to surrounding buildings and public safety,” the Department of Buildings said in a statement.

Massive fire engulfs historic South Side Chicago church on Good Friday

Crews responded Friday to a large church fire on Chicago’s South Side.

“Unfortunately, we are not able to save the mural,” the buildings department said, explaining that it wasnt “technically feasible to cut, lift, and remove the wall intact.”

Doing so “would pose a significant safety risk to workers and could cause other segments of the structurally comprised building to collapse,” the spokesperson said.

The church, at 6248 S. Stewart Ave., was built in the 1880s and has been home to the Antioch Missionary Baptist congregation since 1958.

Building inspectors ordered the buildings demolition because it was structurally unsound and potentially a danger to surrounding buildings and public safety.

Mural of Jesus survives devastating Englewood church fire

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