Antioch Missionary Baptist Church hopes to raise $1M, reopen in 2024 after destructive fire

Services are being held at Urban Prep High School.

ByMaher Kawash via WLS logo
Sunday, July 3, 2022
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The church has been holding services at the Callahan Funeral Home since the fire.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tragedy can strike, but it can't interfere with faith.

That's the mindset for members of Antioch Baptist Church. They have been finding different ways to stick together and hold services after a massive fire burned down the church in just before Easter.

SEE ALSO | South Side congregation gathers for Easter despite devastating Chicago church fire

"There is a reason behind everything," said Lillian Davis. "And God knows what he's allowed."

The church has been holding services at the Callahan Funeral Home since the fire. Now, there's a more convenient spot for those services: the Englewood Urban Prep High School.

"We're gonna be here until we cut the ribbon on the new worship center across the district," said Pastor Gerald Dew.

As they carry on with their faith, fundraising efforts for the new church have been ongoing across the city, with $191,000 already raised.

"It's so important to continue to go to God's house of prayer," said Jeanette Bennett.

Dew has his eyes set on a $1 million fundraising goal and is optimistic about the timeline for the rebuild.

"My hope and prayer is to cut the ribbon on Easter Sunday 2024," Dew said.

RELATED | After Antioch Baptist Church Chicago fire, demolition work continues; faithful plan to rebuild

The church community posted photos along with "Antioch strong" dubbed all over the high school. That is the message these members have been carrying as the new church is about to be rebuilt. But in the meantime, they're not losing connection with their faith.

"We're Antioch strong. We have strong faith. And as long as you have your faith, you can believe and you will achieve," Bennett said.