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New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church


4301 W. Washington Blvd.


Garfield Park


Sat, Oct 19: 10am - 4pm

Sun, Oct 20: 10am - 1pm

Photography Permitted Washrooms Available Wheelchair Accessible


Charles L. Wallace, 1910


The solid limestone edifice of St. Mel's was once a thriving Irish Catholic parish. It was purchased in 1993 by the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, a growing congregation with a long history in the area. Very aware of the building's past, they have carefully updated the sanctuary while maintaining much of the intricate plaster and painted decoration. The Archdiocese of Chicago removed the large stained-glass rose windows, creating an opportunity for the new church to put a stamp on the building. In 2001, the Maafa Remembrance window was installed. Maafa is Swahili for "unspeakable horror." The window provides a powerful graphic reminder of the slave trade's imprint on this African-American church and the surrounding community. The newest window includes likenesses of child martyrs from the Civil Rights movement and Chicago’s urban violence, including Hadiyah Pendleton and Laquan McDonald.

Visitor Experience

Explore this former Catholic church that has been carefully preserved, but also enlivened and transformed with the addition of art and stained glass that depicts important cultural events in African American History.

More Info

NEW - update description with all three rose windows, including brand new one! Also need new photos - schedule that!