Historic Chicago church saved from demolition

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CHICAGO – The Shrine of Christ the King Church has reason to celebrate.

They’re getting a chance to rebuild here and continue their ministry.

Today, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced it has donated the property at 64th and Woodlawn to a group that plans to restore the badly damaged structure.

“Rebuilding is really part of the DNA of Chicago, historically - and Chicago is known the world over for rebuilding, and so we are joining ourselves into this great legacy which has made our city great by rebuilding not only this beautiful church but by rebuilding our community,” said Rev. Cannon Matthew Talarico, Institute of Christ the King.

Back in October, Christ the King was ravaged by a fire.

The City of Chicago designated the church a safety hazard and was preparing demolish the 92-year-old structure…leaving the church’s 350 or so members without a house of worship.

But the community rallied…and started raising funds to rebuild. So far, they say, they have secured $1 million.

“We are grateful to everyone who helped make this happen. And we’re grateful to the archdiocese for coming up with such an innovative solution,” said Emily Nielsen, preservationist.

For this church community that lost its home….today, prayers were answered.

“It feels so amazing and so wonderful because we know we’re going to have the church back and we’re going to celebrate and worship God like we used to,” said Rebecca Agbefe.

The original price tag to rebuild was around $3 million but now the church thinks it’s going to cost twice that.