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About Celia Gregg AME Church
In the year 1939, Celia Gregg was founded by the Rev. J. W. Jefferson and named after the wife of the late Bishop John Andrew Gregg, the church was named after her because of her great work in the field of missions. The Rev. George W. Vann, the second pastor, made giant footprints as he served with love and devotion. The influence he wielded yet permeates the hearts and history of this monument of God. The Rev. W.L. Childs, was the third pastor, under his leadership a larger fellowship was reached along with the relocation of the church. To him we are indebted for the purchase of the building at 740 W. 59th St, in Chicago, IL. The Rev. Paul Turner further advanced the history of Celia Gregg by placing it in a position of prominence, renown, and noble bearing. In 1970, the Rev. Anne Barton placed her footprints in the history of Celia Gregg with great physical changes during her seven year reign. In 1978, the great Rev. Jonathan A. Dames took over the reins of Celia Gregg, bringing with him many years of Kingdom building. In 1979, the Rev. Howard W. Marcus placed his hand print on the walls of Celia Gregg, further advancing its history. The Rev. Alghia Griffin furthered the cause, under his leadership the 59th St. mortgage was retired. In 1982, the Rev. John McClellan placed his loving touch on Celia Gregg. During his ten (10) years, many major refurbishments were accomplished. In 1992, the Rev. Oscar Walden, Jr., began his journey at Celia Gregg were he attempted to keep the flag unfurled. The Rev. Norris Jackson. followed Rev. Walden and was responsible for the purchase of the current building, located at 520 E. Sibley Blvd., in Calumet City, IL, in 2002. The Rev. Clinton E. Ward III was appointed pastor in 2006 and put his own unique gifts to work at Celia Gregg.
The Rev. Nazim B. Fakir, son of Motown Legend The Four Tops - Abdul Duke Fakir, was appointed the 13th pastor of Celia Gregg by Bishop John Richard Bryant on October 25, 2008 at the 4th Episcopal District Planning Meeting held in Rosemont, IL. With God's grace, Celia Gregg has continued to prosper and grow under his leadership.
Pastor Fakir and the officers of Celia Gregg have crafted a multi-phase restoration plan to complete the work necessary to return Celia Gregg to God’s glorious house. The brick and mortar home of Celia Gregg was originally built in two phases; the sanctuary was constructed in 1905 and the education wing, offices, and fellowship hall were completed in 1961. Celia Gregg AME purchased the facility in 2002 and there was a great deal of deferred maintenance over the years.
The restoration is planned as a Four-Phase process that was begun in 2010 with the complete tear-off and replacement of the flat-roof on the education portion of the building. Unfortunately, because of the failing of the flat-roof system that caused its replacement, there was a great deal of damage by water to the interior of the building by way of floors, ceilings and walls. The completion of Phase One will be the complete tear-off and replacement of the pitched roof over the sanctuary along with the repair of the masonry on and around the steeple. Phase Two encompasses the replacement of the ceilings, floors, and painting of the walls in the classrooms and the fellowship hall in the education portion of the building. Phase Three encompasses the freshening of the sanctuary by way of plastering, painting, restructuring of the pulpit area, along with bringing the sanctuary into the 21st century with the installation and incorporation of the necessary media worship tools as well as replacement of the carpeting.
Finally, Phase Four encompasses the installation of security lighting and electronic signage for the exterior of the building to provide a safe and bright worship facility night or day.
It is our desire to recreate Celia Gregg as a world-class worship facility that our members –current and future – will be proud to call their home. The first half of phase one was completed at a cost of $25,000, and we have determined that the remaining phases will be completed at a cost of $175,000.
It is our prayer that you and others will partner with us to create the world-class worship facility that God desires for Celia Gregg; and our Four Tops Holiday Gala on November 30, 2012 is a great way to start! We look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you in advance for your sacrifice and assistance.
Former Pastor Nazim B. Fakir, and the officers and members of Celia Gregg African Methodist Episcopal Church.
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