Christ Church of Chicago

From HistoryWiki

Christ Church of Chicago

6047 N. Rockwell Street

Website: Church Website

Christ Church of Chicago had its beginnings in 1946 when a group of first-generation Japanese Americans met to worship together after arriving in Chicago for the first time. They had recently been released from the World War II Relocation Camps and they were seeking to strengthen ties with others in the Japanese American community and to fill their spiritual needs. The membership grew rapidly as the congregation worshipped in various locations until the joyous day in 1954 when they were finally able to purchase their first home on Buckingham Place in the Community Area 77 Lakeview area. The church was a busy gathering place for three generations of Japanese-Americans.

However, by 1987, declining membership and a deteriorating building forced the congregation to sell the church building and move to temporary worship sites. Gradually, though, the members rediscovered their common purpose and enthusiasm and in 2000 purchased the present church home at 6047 N. Rockwell in West Rogers Park, the former St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

We are delighted with our new building! This new sacred space enables us to worship regularly, to offer an exciting Sunday School program for our families, and to host a number of annual social gatherings and community events.

Our new church home has also encouraged us to look outward to the surrounding community.The Welcome mat is out! We are gradually and happily becoming a multicultural and multiracial church. We still treasure our Japanese-American heritage, mostly through food, crafts, and annual church events, but when you look at our congregation on any given Sunday, we are a beautiful melting pot.

We know that God has a plan for us as an active, vibrant, and forward-looking congregation: to openly welcome new members, reach out to the community, share our gifts generously, teach our young people, and strengthen our individual and communal relationships with God.

2014 Holiday House Walk Booklet, pages 4-5

Christ Church of Chicago

6047 N. Rockwell Street

House Walk Registration

Tours of the church will take place at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. The 1:30 tour will include an organ recital.

The building originally housed St. Mark's Lutheran Church, which was organized in 1922 to serve the neighborhood's predominantly German community. In 1926, the congregation purchased the present property and built a chapel and later a church on the site. At one time, it was the largest Protestant church on the North Side.

In 2000, the church building was purchased by a group of first-generation Japanese Americans who founded the United Church of Christ in 1946 after their arrival in Chicago. Recently released from the World War II Relocation Camps, they wanted to strengthen their ties with other camp survivors in the community and fulfill their spiritual needs. As the membership grew, the congregation moved to various locations and in 2000 the purchased St. Mark's.

The church is distinguished by its Stained glass windows and especially by its Pipe Organ. Fran Walker, the organist, wrote the following description for this house walk.

"Our pipe organ was built in 1970 by Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders, Inc. of Bellwood, Illinois. It was specifically designed to fit the acoustics of our sanctuary, and is considered to be one of the finest pipe organs in Chicagoland. It has 1,700 pipes, from 4 inches to 16 feet in length. Some of the pipes are metal (copper, zinc, and iron) and other pipes are wood (oak and walnut); these different materials create a large variety of sounds and timbres. The organ has two keyboards, 54 pedals. and a set of bells Zimbelstern). In March 2014, it was featured on a national tour by the American Guild of Organists; it was one of four organs in Illinois chosen for the tour. A properly maintained pipe organ will last for hundreds of years, and ours is one example. Thanks to the stewardship and generosity of our Tri-C family this organ's joyful sound will be heard for many generations to come!"