Black church finds new home inside of Hyde Park Jewish temple, by Chinta Strausberg

CAPTION:  Rev. Larry Martin, pastor of the Hope Church of Chicago, has found a new home for his African American non-denominational church inside of the 165-year-old historic KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation located across the street from President Barack Obama's Hyde Park home. (photo by Chinta Strausberg)
Black church finds new home inside of Hyde Park Jewish temple

By Chinta Strausberg

Rev. Larry Martin, pastor of the Hope Church of Chicago, an African American non-denominational church, found a new home inside of the historic 165-year-old KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, headed by Rabbi Batsheva Appel, located across the street from President Barack Obama’s Hyde Park home.   Martin moved his church from 5152 So. Indiana inside of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, which is the oldest Reform congregation in the Midwest located at 5039 S. Greenwood in the Hyde Park-Kenwood community, on October 7, 2012. He plans to stay there for the next three-years in preparation of buying their own church.   “We were looking for a place that provided us with more multiple rooms,” said Martin who explained that KAM Isaiah Congregation “has always been open to Christian congregations.” Martin is renting from KAM.   Martin praised KAM, a Reform congregation, for welcoming into their temple. “We happen upon a very wonderful liberal reform Jewish congregation that understand the need for worship space. They are more than willing to share the worship space that they have, and to them relationships are really important irrespective of denominations. That is what we are enjoying…a wonderful relationship with a group of people who love God as well,” said Martin.   In the interim, Martin said there are many rooms inside of KAM including a library and a banquet hall. Martin has bible study, a dance group. “We use all the open spaces that they have,” he said praising KAM officials for allowing his church to be housed in one of Illinois’ most prestigious synagogues and across the street from America’s first African American president.   ###

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