In a ceremony that could only be referred to as “joyous” the pastor and members of St. Michael Church held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 16.

Emma Baker and her husband, Assistant Pastor Jesse Baker, notified Austin Weekly News of their church’s celebration.

Just like a scene out of the movies, church members marched from their old location (4200 W. Adams) to their beautiful new church, located at 4106 W. Monroe. As church member Mrs. Edna Farber (Austin Green Team member) stood by the door with ribbon cutting scissors, the entire neighborhood came out to watch. As the pastor prepared to cut the ribbon, Rev. Funches and his wife Allison sang and offered prayer. We certainly remember Rev. and Mrs. Funches when they suffered the tremendous loss of their children in a catastrophic fire last September.

Mothers and fathers marched with their babies in strollers; politicians marched alongside deacons and pastors; and leading the way were Rev. and Mrs. Clifford Spears, pastor of St. Michael’s and a minister who was on a mission to fulfill the vision of (now deceased) former pastor Rev. Willie Mason. Rev. Mason’s vision was brought to reality under the leadership of Rev. Spears, along with his staff and congregation.

The weather could not have been more beautiful when a stream of blue and white balloons were released after prayer and the ribbon-cutting. As the balloons streamed across the horizon, members, friends and visitors filed into the sanctuary. Praise dancers greeted everyone as the choir sang.

Choir member Emma Baker was overwhelmed with joy and could hardly contain herself. Seeing the beautiful church, watching her pastor, friends and her husband only reinforced the belief that things aren’t always about crime and drugs.

Speakers and participants on hand for the celebration were Cong. Danny Davis; Ald. Ed Smith; architect Henry Onochie; West Side Baptist ministers Pastor George Henderson, New Mt. Moriah Church; Pastor Marvel Williams, St. Michael Deacon Board; Deacon E. Henderson, ABC Bank; Ms. Colette Loesher, Shiloh MB Church; Pastor Gordon Humphrey Sr., Lilydate First Baptist; Dr. Alvin Love; Pastor Michael Griffin; Pastor Louis Malone, St. Luke MB Church; Pastor Melvin Brown, King David Church; Pastor Cleotha Tate, First New Bethany Church; Sister Sallie Martin; Sister Boyd-Fields; Deacon Randle and Pastor Louis Banks M.C. among many other distinguished guests.

The new St. Michael M.B. Church is a beautiful addition to the West Side of Chicago. It is worth a look.