Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ is the friendly church standing on an embankment overlooking the Dan Ryan Expressway, with quad doors swinging on welcome hinges open to the communities. It is located at 8601 South State Street, in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Daniel Harrison, minister.
There is much history with this strong congregation. The congregation set in motion in 1956 as the Wentworth Church of Christ, 6002 South Wentworth under the leadership of Will E. Carmen and John T. Bryant. When the parishioners grew in numbers, they required more space. As a result, the worshippers relocated to 5749 South Wentworth in 1958. A flaming inferno destroyed the edifice in 1963 and once again they had to move.
The congregation then rented a small remote room in the YMCA, 3700 South Wabash. The flock continued to increase and expand; they had to relocate to a second YMCA, 50th and Indiana, which provided a moderately larger room for them.
Early in 1964, the dedicated group of believers purchased property at 135 West 79th Street. The congregation became incorporated on April 20, 1964, recognized as the 79th Street Church of Christ. They purchased the land but had no building. The faithful parishioners didn’t allow that to stop them. They continued to worship each Sunday at the YMCA and held bible classes frequently in the homes of different church members. The church experienced many financial trials; they couldn’t afford to employ a professional contractor so, they worked faithfully using their skills along with the assistance of their families and friends. As the men labored, their wives, families, and friends prepared hot lunches for them and helped out with eliminated debris and other work that was needed.
Through perseverance and teamwork blessings began to flow. Sam Judkins, a church member, and Daniel Harrison, called upon their friend, John McBride, a brick layer, from Montgomery, Alabama to start the foundation with the laying of the bricks. At the start of breaking ground the city forced them to obtain a professional contractor. Sam was able to enlist one of his close friends, Daniel McGrath who assisted in the construction of the building. The first official Worship Service was held in October of 1968 at the 79th and LaSalle Street Church of Christ. Jules Hutton and other members of the church paid the contractor in full.
Daniel Harrison was extended an invitation by Sam Judkins to preach the gospel to the congregation. All members present were awe-inspired by his style, Bible knowledge, deliverance, expression of love, and humility. On the first Lord’s Day in January, 1969, Daniel Harrison became the official minister of the 79th and LaSalle Street Church of Christ. The congregation continued to grow as time transpired. The parishioners purchased the grand and magnificent structure, Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ in 1985 and have remained there ever since.