|Saint Patrick's Church Swedish Methodist Church Immanuel Lutheran Church|
Saint Patrick's Church
Saint Patrick's church, the oldest church on the Southeast Side, was founded in 1857 by Irish Catholics as an outmission of St. James church then located at 27th and Prairie Avenue in Chicago. The parish was a territorial Catholic parish (see inside back cover). The original church was located at what is now 93rd and South Chicago Avenue, across the street from the current South Chicago Fire Station. The church remained at that location until 1878. It then moved to 95th and Commercial Avenue. In 1880 Father Martin van de Lahr became the first appointed pastor. He was to lead the parish through many improvements. A school opened in 1883 with over two hundred students. A rectory and convent was built soon thereafter. In 1889 St. Patrick's opened the first Catholic high school in Chicago. In May 1902 the combination church-school building, shown above, was destroyed by fire. A new church-school building of brick and steel construction, built on a stone foundation, opened in 1903. The church had a seating capacity of nine hundred and the school had fourteen classrooms, laboratory, music room and library. In the early 1900's the school had an enrollment of 642 in the grammar school, 105 in the high school, and 27 in the commercial department. The high school closed in 1924. The elementary school closed in 1968 and the parish closed as well. The building is currently owned by a Baptist church.
The original Swedish Methodist Church was erected in 1882 on the southwest corner of Ninety-first Street and Exchange Avenue in South Chicago. The church numbered about 25 members. A Free Methodist congregation also met at the church. In 1938, the church was renamed and turned into the United Church of South Chicago, which became Presbyterian and Congregational. The United Church of South Chicago, formerly known as the Swedish Methodist Church, is no longer standing. The former site of the church is now occupied by a parking lot.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran, under the leadership of the first resident pastor, H. P. Duborg, had her formal organization on June 20, 1873. At that time 190 Lutherans worked together to build their first house of worship. It was originally known as the First Evangelical Lutheran Chucrch of South Chicago. There is some diagreement over whether the founders were Swedish or German, but the church has been German throughout most of its existence. It contained a school room and parsonage on the first floor and the church auditorium on the second level. Seven months later, on January 11, 1874, the building was dedicated to God's glory. The oldest organization within the congregation, the Ladies Aid Society was established in 1876. Pastor Duborg continued to serve at Immanuel until 1879. Pastor C. Eissfeldt became the second resident pastor. Growth was the main focus of Pastor Eissfeldt. Highlights of this period include the erection of a separate school building, and organization of a church choir in 1880 and a second classroom was added in 1886. Before resigning in 1896 because of ill health, Pastor Eissfeld was successful in building a new parsonage next to the church and in acquiring a pipe organ. Along with the desire to serve the Church in the best possible way came the decision to replace the original church building. A committee undertook the responsibility and the building program necessitated the purchase of three additional lots. The dedication service was held on January 26, 1908. The cost of the building was $42,000. On September 3, 1922 the present school building was opened. It was located on the site of the original frame church building. The enrollment of the school reached 223 students soon thereafter. In 1926, a pipe organ was installed in the church balcony. On December 25, 1937, the building was severely damaged by fire. In 1973 the church celebrated its 100th Anniversary. And in recent years the church has closed.