Pastor Corey Brooks hosted a dinner Saturday night at Logan Art Center at the University of Chicago.
The reverend began his coast-to-coast walk in New York more than a month ago.
He's trying to raise $15 million dollars to build a new community center at the site of a former hotel on King Drive.
"As soon as we get those funds we already have plans," he said. "We have a great architect firm, Perkins & Will. They've given us a great building, a great model, a great plan. So, we're looking forward to going forward and building something really substantial."
Sunday morning, Pastor Brooks will preside over Sunday service at his own New Beginnings Church.
He is expected to be joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn as the pastor begins a 10-mile walk to Navy Pier.