FOE

Ebenezer... a Chicago historic landmark.

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church has been granted a $900,000 grant from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks toward a $1.2 million project to restore the physical "birthplace of gospel music."

Join with us on this journey of historical preservation and make a donation today!

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Chicago Landmark Designation

Built in 1899, the building was originally a synogue for the Isaiah Temple congregation. Built as one of Chicago's early Reform Judaism synagogues, this Classical Revivial-style building is the last building designed by famed architect Dankmar Adler. Purchased in 1921 by Ebenezer Church, it is long-admired for its distinctive form and fine acoustics and exhibits many characteristics associated with the work of Adler.

"The Birthplace of Gospel Music"

In 1931 the first modern gospel choir is credited with having been assembled at the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, and with it came the introduction of a new type of sacred song infused with “bluesy” rhythms under the direction of musical pioneers Professor Theodore R. Frye, Roberta Martin, and Thomas Andrew Dorsey, himself known as the “Father of Gospel Music."

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"Take My Hand, Precious Lord"

Through their association with Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, many of gospel music’s greatest musicians, composers, and choral directors achieved fame, including Thomas A. Dorsey, the “Father of Gospel Music”, as well as Professor Theodore R. Frye, Roberta Martin, Professor John E. Rogers, Jr., and Willa Saunders Jones. Numerous other pioneering gospel singers and musicians frequently performed at Ebenezer including Mahalia Jackson, Sallie Martin, Dinah Washington, and the rock and blues innovator Bo Diddley. 

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