Iconic Chicago Baptist church Burns Down by fire

Chicago church gutted by fire
Chicago church gutted by fire

“Gospel music, as well as all the other Gospel Music genres, have always been the backdrop that kept us solid, that kept us full and singing and excited,” said Antoinette Wright, President & Executive Director of National Museum of Gospel Music.

The site is in Destroyed, but church Ministers have never given up their vision of converting it into a Gospel music museum. And now, they got a major boost toward that goal: a $2.1 million check from the state of Illinois.

State. Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-3rd) has been coming together every week with museum organizers all year. She presented the big check Thursday morning.

“This is a good example of all of your tax Money, regardless of where you stay in the state of Illinois, these are your tax money coming back into this community to help build the National Gospel Museum,” she said.

The state funding will go toward step one of the rebuild: preserving and restoring the church’s limestone walls, which have been propped up by scaffolding for years.

When complete, the museum will feature an auditorium and research library.

“We know that we need to do something for the community and provide a community space,” said Cynthia Jones, Board Chair of Pilgrim Baptist Church. “I call it repurposing a space that everybody can enjoy. And that’s how we came up with the National Museum of Gospel Music.”

There is still much work to be done in terms of fundraising, with an estimated construction price tag of $30 million.


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