Skip to main content

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church

Address

4501 S. Vincennes Ave.

Neighborhood

Bronzeville

Hours

Sat, Oct 15: 11am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 16: 1pm - 5pm

Photography Permitted Wheelchair Accessible

Architect

Dankmar Adler, 1899

Description

This church is widely regarded as the birthplace of American gospel music. It was originally constructed as the Isaiah Temple synagogue in a predominantly German Jewish neighborhood. In 1921, the synagogue was purchased by Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church to serve the area's growing African-American community. The Georgian-Revival design includes a barrel-vaulted auditorium with a horseshoe-shaped balcony and brightly colored stained-glass windows. Ebenezer nurtured the careers of noted gospel singers such as Thomas A. Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington and Sallie Martin.

Behind the Scenes

Stand in the choir loft, the birthplace of gospel music.