Skip to main content

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church

Address

4501 S. Vincennes Ave.

Neighborhood

Bronzeville

Hours

Sat, Oct 15: 10am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 16: 1pm - 5pm

Photography Permitted Washrooms Available

Architect

Dankmar Adler, 1899

Description

This church is widely regarded as one of the early incubators of American gospel music. It was originally constructed as the Isaiah Temple synagogue when the neighborhood was predominantly German Jewish. 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 Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, Sallie Martin and composer Thomas A. Dorsey, who combined traditional hymnals with emerging popular music sensibilities to pioneer the spiritually uplifting Gospel sound.

Visitor Experience

The entire main church building will be open for self-guided exploration, with guided tours available.