Monday, February 14, 2011

Chicago Mega Church moves into Rev. Robert Collyer's Unity Church

Via Crain's Chicago Business,
A tony block in the Gold Coast will soon include an unlikely resident: a suburban-based mega-church.

The new home of Harvest Bible Chapel is marked by a temporary sign at the corner of Dearborn Street and Walton Avenue — once part of the campus for the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Harvest Bible wouldn't comment beyond saying it expects to move into the cathedral in 2012. It would be the church's sixth campus.
Before the Scottish Rite Cathedral, this Church was Rev. Robert Collyer's Unity Church.  In 1903 Unity moved to Barry Street on Chicago's Northside and eventually became Chicago's Second Unitarian (See "When Chicago was Young" column in the Chicago Trib May 27, 1951).

Also from the Chicago Trib Nov 10, 1957 an article titled "Anvil to Play Historic Role as Unitarian Church Marks Centennial".  Second Unitarians's Rev Heyworth showed Collyer's Anvil at Unity's successor Church.
As soon as the Rev. John R. Heyworth, pastor, explains the anvil’s origin, its place of honor near the pulpit makes sense.

The Rev. Robert Collyer, a Yorkshireman, first church minister and also a blacksmith, placed the avil in the church he founded, at what is now 915 N. Dearborn st.

“He said he was going to hammer out the truth as he hammered out horse shoes,” explained the Rev. Heyworth.

After the Chicago fire claimed the first Unity Church the Rev. Mr. Collyer stood on its ruins and pleaded for funds to build a second church, erected two years later on the same site.

In 1902, the congregation built the present church with funds from the sale of the former one, now the Scottish Rite Cathederal.

“This church was a sunken ship when I took it 27 years ago, “ said the Rev. Mr. Heyworth. “I was told it wouldn’t last my life. Now it’s a good and vigorous church.”
Now how many UU Ministers left who can go at it Hammer and Tongs, hammering out the truth, in the honest and workman like fashion of the Chicago's veneralbe Rev. Collyer?

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