East Side Baptist Church
The East Side Baptist Church, currently located at 3500 East
107th Street, was the third church formed on the East Side and
was a German Church. It was first established in June of 1876, and was
originally known as the First German Baptist Church of Colehour until April
of 1882. The church was originally a mission of the First German Baptist
Church of Chicago's north side. Services and meetings were held at church
members houses each week until the Church was formally organized in 1876.
The original church building was built in 1876 at a cost of $780 on land
given to the church by the Canal and Dock Company. On April 18, 1882, the
Colehour Mission was officially recognized as a self governing church.
In the same year another church building was erected at near 92nd
and Burley Avenue and was operated as a mission of the Colehour Church.
Also on May 15, 1882, the first Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
in the area was formed at a meeting held in the church. The first pastor
of the church was Reverend Gotthard Mengel who served from 1882 to 1891.
Around the turn of the century the name of the church was changed to South
Chicago German Baptist Church and in November 1899 the South Chicago Mission
Church, which was part of the church, was sold to the Swedish Tabernacle
Baptist Church for $3000. In 1906 the church was remodeled and enlarged.
In 1930 the name of the church was officially changed to the East Side
Baptist Church. In June of 1956, Odgen Park Baptist Church merged with
the East Side Baptist church. On Wednesday, April 26, 1967, it was voted
to build a new Church and a new building committee was appointed. On June
7, 1971 the old building was torn down and the foundation for the new church
was poured on July 9, 1971. The cornerstone was laid September 26 and the
new church was completed at a cost of approximately $95,000 before the
end of 1971.
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Bethany Church
In the home of Magnus Johnson on October 8, 1880, five committee
members were chosen to look for "church lots." At some later date the same
offer was made for lots 13 and 14 in block 70 on the west side of Houston
Avenue between 91st and 92nd Streets where the church was erected. In this
case the one lot was purchased for $600.00. At a meeting of the congregation
on June 29, 1881, the decision to build a church was made, but on August
8, 1881, they decided that it would cost $2,700.00 to build. Erick G. Petterson
was the architect of the church. Construction began on August 15, 1881.
The church was enclosed by December and on Christmas Day, 1881, a "Julotta"
service was held in the partially finished church and it may have been
the first service held there. At the annual meeting on January 1, 1885,
it was proposed that a "schoolhouse" be erected; it was completed in 1886.
Toward the end of the century, in 1897, the church started showing signs
of deterioration, and in 1899, the committee decided to raise the church
up onto a foundation of brick and stone. In 1909, extensive alterations
were made to the interior of the church. At an annual meeting on January
27, 1909, it was decided that the chancel be removed and the interior "frescoe
painted." At another annual meeting on November 12, 1947, the trustees
were authorized to sell the church building for a minimum of $20,000.00.
On June 18, 1948, the offer from Realtor C. Arthur Carlson to purchase
the building, excluding the organ, pulpit, chancel furniture, pews, alter
painting, bell and other personal property, for $19,000.00 was accepted.
The last services of the congregation in the church were the regular 11:00
A.M. service and a 4:00 P.M. choir service held on Sunday, April 24, 1949.
The church building was sold to the National Guard which used it for an
armory. About 1958, it became a church again through its purchase by a
Baptist congregation. About 1964, it was again sold to ta Puerto Rican
Pentecostal congregation, and in 1980 it was again sold to a Haitian church.
A few years later the church burned down.