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Black Church

The First Black Catholic Priest—a Candidate for Sainthood—and His Importance to Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

Father Augustus Tolton escaped slavery in Missouri to become the first openly recognized Black Catholic priest, ministering in Quincy, Illinois and establishing the first standalone Black Catholic church in Chicago. While there are currently no African American saints, he is currently a candidate for sainthood.

The Importance of Some of Chicago's Notable Black Churches

Daniel Hautzinger

Black churches in Chicago have played host to speakers from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Frederick Douglass to Barack Obama while supporting civil rights and social justice, as well as their own spiritual communities.

The Significance of the Black Church Throughout America's History

Daniel Hautzinger

"We need to realize how intertwined the Black church is with the birth of other institutions," says a Chicago theologian. "It’s like a human being: it has incredible beauty, brokenness, blessedness, all of that mixed together."

The Bold Architecture of Chicago's Black Churches

Daniel Hautzinger

Discover some of Chicago's most architecturally extraordinary Black churches. "I think there's a conscious push to embrace the new," says architectural photographer and writer Lee Bey, "of throwing off the chains of the past."
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