CHICAGO (CBS) — A Bronzeville church opens a new chapter in its 102 years of serving the neighborhood.
The Apostolic Faith Church, established in 1915, opened Sunday an enormous new building, but its mission extends far beyond the church walls.
The day started with a worship service in the old auditorium. Then the congregation marched outside the Apostolic Faith Church on Sunday, among them Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Reverend Jesse Jackson, led by the Pastor, Horace Smith. They entered the new facility at 38th and Indiana where the worship service continued with music and more.
“This is more than just a church,” said Pastor Smith.
After the ribbon cutting, a worship service celebrated the new $33 million building, which seats 3,000 in the sanctuary. The church also provides an anchor in Bronzeville.
“Youth development, career development, jobs center, food for the hungry, worship as well,” Pastor Smith said.
“A church was built and a liquor store was closed on the corner,” said Rev. Jackson.
“Today we cut a ribbon not just on a beautiful sanctuary, but on the beauty that is spoken here and felt here,” said Mayor Emanuel.
It seems fitting that a church with such a broad mission would have as its pastor, Horace Smith. He’s also a physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital and a professor at Northwestern’s Medical School.
The church, in his words, reached every sector with high excellence. The theme for the event held Sunday was “Crossing Over with Multiple Generations.”
“Bless you for being here today. It’s a wonderful day for us,” Pastor Smith said.
Pastor Smith said this is the third building in the church’s 102 year history. The second building, built in 1987, will house youth, recreational and health centers.