September 10, 1950, Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church (on February 14, 1952, the church name was changed to Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church) was born inside of Winfred Harris Funeral Home at 49th & State Street in Chicago, Illinois. The founding members were Joseph Evans, Pharis Evans, Lou Della Evans-Reid, Robert Bond, and Arthur Spraggins.
While a student at the Chicago Baptist Institute, Reverend Evans met a God-fearing woman in the person of Consuella York. After graduation, Reverend York joined Fellowship. Reverend Evans ordained Reverend York on March 25, 1954, and she later became the assistant pastor. In October 1952, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church aired its first service on WWCA radio station in Gary, Indiana. The radio broadcast premiered Fellowship’s famous rendition of “What A Fellowship” as well as the theme song “It Is No Secret What God Can Do.” Mrs. Maple Block Davis served as the first radio announcer and Reverend Consuella York succeeded her one month after the first broadcast was aired. Reverend York continued to serve as radio announcer of Fellowship until her death in December 1995.
After several location changes, on June 6, 1954, Fellowship got a new church home at 4621 S. State Street. It was an old garage building with a leaky roof, no restrooms, or heat. The building was purchased for $25,000, but with the help of many good friends and well-wishers, it was transformed into a beautiful edifice. In November, Reverend Evans organized the Christ Way Baptist Church with Reverend York as its pastor. Reverend John Conner became the Assistant Pastor of Fellowship.
November 15, 1959, the new site for Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church at 45th Place and Princeton Avenue that consisted of an old church building, a parsonage, a community house and a large vacant lot had been purchased for $110,000.00.
Reverend Evans, along with the Fellowship Choir, made their first LP recording. Reverend Evans ordained Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. as an associate minister of Fellowship. Reverend Jackson has played a significant role in the life of Fellowship, most notably co-signing the mortgage for our current church edifice.
On April 8, 1973, Fellowship’s newly erected church building that had cost Fellowship $500,000 was opened. The steel frame of this building had stood bare for seven years because construction was halted by downtown politics.
June 1, 1998 – Reverend Charles Jenkins named Associate Pastor of The Ship by Reverend Clay Evans, and began his training and grooming by Pastor Evans to succeed him upon.
January 14-21, 2001 – Inauguration of Pastor Charles Jenkins.
New Ministries Established – Kings and Priests (Men’s Ministry) and Daughters of Royalty (Women’s Ministry).
Groundbreaking for Fellowship Manor (The Ship’s Senior Citizens Building-5041 S. Princeton).
Purchased the Garfield Alternative School from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago; Inception of Fellowship Youth Church (Second Wave).
Inception of Wednesday Board Room Service (now known as Fellowship Loop).
Launched Fellowship “Live” On Streaming Faith – Seen worldwide on www.Streamingfaith.com.
Pastor announced Legacy Project “Building People/Building Community” with plans to purchase the Soft Sheen Building, 14½ Acres of land at 8522 South Lafayette.
The inception of Fellowship Bible Academy in the Fall of 2009.
Pastor Charles Jenkins & the Fellowship Mass Choir held a Live Recording for the album titled “Best of Both Worlds.” Pastor Charles Jenkins released his first book “Thriving in Change.”
Pastor Jenkins launched a male Youth Mentorship Program called “Gladiators”. Pastor Jenkins traveled to Ethiopia with a non-profit organization; Charity Water to raise awareness about clean water shortage in Third-World countries. During “Jesus Week”: A weeklong celebration of the Life, Death & Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Fellowship raised $10,000 to build two wells in Ethiopia. Pastor Jenkins was invited as the Speaker, International Business Dinner, and National Prayer Breakfast Week at The White House.
The Legacy Project was donated to Fellowship by the Green family of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.
Pastor Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago won Stellar Awards in five categories:
- Song of the year: Charles Jenkins, “Awesome” — “The Best of Both Worlds,” Inspired People
- CD of the year: Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Inspired People
- Choir of the year: Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Inspired People
- Recorded music packaging of the year: Charles Jenkins, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Inspired People
- Traditional choir of the year: Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Inspired People
Sold Legacy site and began plans to renovate 45th and Princeton Avenue location.
Remodeled Main Sanctuary.
Reverend Reginald W. Sharpe, Jr. named Associate Pastor. #FollowingGod