Third Baptist Church of Chicago is an African American church on Chicago’s South side with a membership of between 3,500 and 4,000. We are an intergenerational church with strong teaching and disciple-building programs. Currently, there are 56 active ministries/committees in the church and we seek to be a spiritual resource to our members, to the community surrounding the church, and to the broader church community. Roughly 60-65 percent of the members are from the Brainerd and Beverly communities surrounding the church. We also have members who live as far west as Lombard and as far south as Matteson. The economic range of the membership is from poverty level to CEOs of companies. We are blessed with people who are willing to share their gifts and talents in the development, implementation and on-going work of our ministries. We recognize that, while education and training in the secular world and in the seminaries are beneficial for the work of the church, we depend on the spirit and the commitment of all members to be actively involved in some ministry or program of the church. We believe that all members have something significant and unique to offer toward the evangelistic, care, and nurture efforts of those seeking to find meaning and purpose in the name and work of Jesus Christ. Ministry in the Next 3-5 Years TBCOC is in the midst of building our “Family Life Center” which will include school rooms for K-8, a gymnasium, a chapel and meeting rooms. We envision this facility as being a resource to the community. We hope to use it as outreach to the community as we provide spiritual formation programs, and education and training and health programs for people of all ages. While people are constructing the building, we are praying and worshiping and working together so that God will build His Spirit in us, as a body of Christ, so that we will be ready for the work our gracious and merciful God has for us.
There are 56 in total. All of our programs are important to us and necessary for the life and spirit of the church. Several are highlighted here. There is no intent to minimize the importance of those not listed. Please contact Francine Stark for more information on these and others not listed. • TBCOC has two worship services on Sundays: 7:15 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. • Sunday School is at 9:15a.m. • Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. • Disciple Classes: This is a 9-month curriculum of Bible study intended to provide spiritual formation for the individual in preparation for discipleship. We have one Youth and 13 Adult classes. There are four levels of Disciple, which is a nine month, once a week for 2.5 hours class schedule. There are currently approximately 120 people in class at this time. Close to 800 people have completed at least the first level of training. • Sociable Seniors and Retirees: We have roughly 150 members in our ministry for persons age 55+. They have an exercise program x2 weekly and meet once a month for program, prayer and fun. Throughout the year they engage in different trips and activities and once a year have a banquet and fashion show to raise money for ministries. They also provide gifts at Christmas for nursing home residents. • Youth Council: There are several ministries through this program: scholarships, Girl Scouts of America, an athletic program, camping, and revivals for youth. • Marriage Enrichment: Quarterly meetings and fun times; special focus workshops/seminars for married couples, yearly marriage retreat; and summer picnic for the whole family. • Health and Wellness Ministry: Provides workshops and seminars and health fairs for our church family and the community in order to promote health and to be proactive in healthy lifestyles for people of all ages. We are active in the “Reach 2010” program to bring mammograms and gyne exams to African American and Hispanic women who have no insurance or who are under-insured. Blood pressure checks are available two Sundays a month after worship. Community Outreach While there are several programs earmarked as outreach programs—e.g. programs for youth and seniors, and our Disciple programs—all are invited to participate in our church programs as a way to find a church/spiritual formation home. Partners in Ministry Along with being a member of ABC of Metro Chicago, TBCOC is a dually aligned church with Progressive National Baptist. We have also been an active member of United Power for Action since inception in 1995. We are part of an ecumenical effort along with other unions and social justice organizations to support equality and justice for all of the citizens of Chicago. TBCOC also founded its sister organization, Heritage Community Development Corporation (HCDC), which is a 501(c)3 organization committed to being an anchor for community revitalization on the Southwest side of Chicago. HCDC operates the Gilead Healthcare Project, the Foster Grandparent Program, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Summer Enrichment Program and a host of other community related projects. National/International Affiliations TBCOC, through Pastor Ragland, has been supportive of the alliance between ABCMC and the Ghana Baptist Convention. We are excited about what this partnership will do to increase God’s Spirit and work among the Christian communities of these partnering entities. To God be the glory! While the Disciple Program is a packaged program, we have developed or are in the process of developing programs for Christians new to faith, a Visitation Ministry, a spiritual healing program called “Healing Old Wounds, Being New in Christ” based on the spiritual component of 12 Step programs, and “From Mourning to Morning” a bereavement workshop which will be the precursor to a grief support group. Our Missionary Dept. is reorganizing to have five circles to attract men and women who are interested in caring and evangelistic efforts. We recently launched a Women’s Ministry which will develop four programs for the coming year. The men are also developing a program of outreach to teen boys and young men. Expertise and Resources for Ministry in the Region We are blessed to be a large congregation with people who are well trained and versed in a broad range of knowledge and expertise. Within our church we have, for example, financial planners, electricians, painters, musicians, teachers, nurses and lawyers, experts at computer graphics and website preparation, worship and praise through music and song—to name a few. Among our MITs we have those who are worship leaders as well as those who preach and teach. Because we are blessed, we hope to be a blessing to our community and to our ABCMC region as we partner to accomplish New Life and New Horizons for the work of expanding God’s kingdom.
Pastor: The Reverend Dr. Alan V. Ragland, Sr. Pastor Associates: Dr. Lee H. Butler Jr., Associate Pastor, Ministers in Training (MITs) Staff Minister: The Reverend Francine Stark, (resource for ministry/program contacts)