Gospel music museum project at Bronzeville church moving forward

Gospel music museum project at Bronzeville church moving forward

CHICAGO (TOC) — The Pilgrim Baptist Church choir sang “Valuable Lord, Take My Hand” Thursday morning as they started a brand new chapter in turning their former church house right into a gospel music museum.

The tune was penned by the church’s former choir director, Thomas A. Dorsey, who is named the “Father of Gospel Music.”

“Gospel music performs a particular position. It comforts us. It encourages us. It makes the soul rock in a unique sort of manner,” stated Antoinette Wright, the president and govt director of the Nationwide Museum of Gospel Museum.

The church, a historic landmark, was destroyed by a fireplace in 2006. The purpose was to rebuild the church. However with little progress through the years and different setbacks, they determined to alter their prayer.

“It’s arduous to boost cash for a church, so we determined to make use of the constructing, to repurpose it,” Pilgrim Baptist Church Board Chairman Cynthia M. Jones stated.

Constructing upon that dream of turning the previous house of Pilgrim Baptist Church into the Nationwide Museum of Gospel Music has been a problem.

“It’s not usually {that a} museum will get a possibility to take a seat the place the historical past was made. That is why this spot is so vital,” Wright stated.

SEE MORE: Struggle to revive constructing that after housed Pilgrim Baptist Church dealt one other blow following Monday’s storms

Pilgrim members know with religion they’ll climb any mountain.

“We’re nonetheless working. We’re nonetheless shifting. The pandemic, effectively it delayed us, but it surely did not cease us,” Jones stated.

Now these pushing for the museum are hoping new cash from the state will kickstart fundraising for the undertaking. State Sen. Mattie Hunter secured $2.1 million.

“That is our historical past. That is our tradition. So we should protect it,” stated Hunter, whose district contains Bronzeville.

Wright is working to boost $25-$30 million for the undertaking.

“Elevating cash is at all times difficult, but when it’s a good trigger, it usually flows,” Wright stated.

A completion date for the museum hasn’t been set in stone. However with an getting older congregation, church members are praying they’re round to see it.

“We’ve misplaced lots of members since 2006 as a result of we’re already an older congregation. That is why we at the moment are making an attempt to maneuver ahead in a short time on the constructing,” Jones stated.

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