About the Campaign
Where We Have Been
Founded as Holy Trinity Church in 1998 with 37 members, we began in the shadow of a world class research university, in multiethnic neighborhoods with a rich history of African American social and political action, and in a city that is a cultural and economic engine. In our time here, we have flourished and our ministry has grown.
From the outset our ministry believed that assisting young families, and helping children learn the message of the Bible would be some of our greatest privileges. With God’s help we have written and published two family devotionals and are presently working on a third. We have developed Sunday School Curricula. We are grateful that the writing and illustrating of The Big Picture Story Bible came from our commitment to preschoolers, a book which is now published in over 20 languages around the world.
In our ministry to students, we have intersected with thousands in their time at the University of Chicago. With our mid-week ministries of the Word now taking stronger root among undergraduate and graduate students we are keen to prepare them for Christian life.
Our dream is to see hundreds of students in our new facility each week, both in services and over dinner and discussion on the Bible.
In our commitment to training, we initiated an internship program that has seen over 80 men and women participate, with dozens entering full time gospel work. We appointed the first Board of Directors for The Charles Simeon Trust, a work that now trains more than 4,500 pastors and Bible teachers annually. In founding the Neopolis Network and The Chicago Partnership for Church Planting we have played a role in painting more than two dozen churches.
In our ministry to the surrounding neighborhoods we have supported local grade schools though Serving Schools Together. At Woodlawn’s Parkshore Nursing Home we have faithfully led a Bible Study for the past eight years, where between 40-60 people come out weekly to learn God’s Word. Also, we opened Encore, a resale store that has brought needed clothing to the community. And with ties to Young Life, World Vision, and InterVarsity, we minister on local and global fronts.
Where We Are
What is done in Kenwood, Hyde Park, and Woodlawn has the potential to be significant. This was true when our congregation was planted in 1998, it remains true today, and it is central to why we continue to anchor ourselves here.
This part of the city has been the home and launchpad for significant African American figures and movements. This is where Harold Washington, Carol Moseley Braun, Barack and Michelle Obama, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and Muhammad Ali have all made their homes. This place is a locus for African American political and social action. Woodlawn is a hub of cultural richness and a unique intersection on the southside providing connection between the academic world and the world of Chicago. Christ Church Chicago joins other local churches who have been invested in making followers of Jesus Christ.
The University of Chicago attracts a multiethnic, multinational student population from across the U.S. and the globe, including the undergraduate College and many graduate and professional schools. The University population is currently 17,000 students: 26% International, 5% African American, 14% Asian, 10% Latino, 4% Multiracial, and 38% White.
From here we will give ourselves to engaging students, faculty, and staff with the gospel in hopes of seeing it spread to every corner of the globe.
In continuing to root ourselves here, we have the opportunity to invest in a diverse body of people whose work will take them to places all over the community, city, and world. The work we do, whether strengthening the faith of Christians or bringing new people to Christ, will help the gospel spread, from Woodlawn to Singapore, from Kenwood to New York, from Hyde Park to Austria.
Our new building at Woodlawn and 62nd will firmly place us in these communities. We will be one block north of the heart of Woodlawn, within a 5–10-minute walk from the residence halls of 2,400 on-campus College students, and blocks from the Law School and the Harris School of Public Policy. We will be two blocks from the Parkshore Nursing Home and a charter school. There are many things we anticipate learning from being in Woodlawn and what the community already has in place.
What We Need
The whole building will reflect the glory of God, and the auditorium will be a place that invites all to worship. Unobstructed sight lines draw our attention forward to God’s Word read and proclaimed. Our eyes and hearts will be drawn upward, to the beautiful stained-glass dome— at 56 feet in diameter, one of the largest in the Midwest. Excellent acoustics will enhance our congregational singing and corporate worship. And with seats for over 700 people we will welcome everyone into an understanding of the Scriptures and the knowledge of the fullness of God that can be had by knowing Jesus Christ.
From the moment someone walks into the foyer of this 104-year old structure, the original fixtures, iron railings, and patina from the woodwork will exude warmth and welcome. We want people to feel they have come home. In this foyer space, in the auditorium, in the lower commons, and in other spaces throughout the building we will have the opportunity to gather and host events that grow the gospel. The lower commons will seat upwards of 300 people for sit-down meals, or more than 500 for standing receptions. A full-service kitchen will serve meals as frequently as needed.
The building will reflect the availability of the gospel as a space accessible to all. The building will accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, and have ramps and elevators, with complete ADA fulfillment. Corridors and rooms will facilitate movement. Office space will serve our growing staff, including open workspace, enclosed offices for counseling, a conference room, kitchenette, and a walk-out patio suitable for a variety of functions. When it comes to our commitment to helping children and students learn about Jesus from the Bible, the space will house multiple classrooms, outfitted for a wide range of age groups, a nursery, and other adaptable use space. In addition, where the organ pipes once stood in the west wing, we envision repurposing an additional 2,000 square feet of multi-floor space for expanded ministry use.
This building will anticipate future needs by designing spaces for multiple uses. It will be able to host weddings, funerals, events, and conferences.
How We Get There
When our church began in 1998, the 37 members took bold steps of faith towards the vision of a faithful body of Christ in a historically significant neighborhood, in the shadow of a world class university. With our new building God has opened a door for expanded gospel work
To that end, we ask you to consider how you may be financially invested in this work. And how you may give generously of your talents. We seek:
Financial participation from every member of Christ Church
Service and spiritual investment from every member of Christ Church
Gifts of $10.5 million over the next three years, from members of Christ Church Chicago and the global church