Worship at Third Baptist Church of Chicago is held regularly at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday.
As a congregation of the Universal Church of Jesus Christ in the Baptist tradition, Third Baptist Church of Chicago is to be the Lord’s Great House, living out the Greatest Commandment and fulfilling the Great Commission. (2 Timothy 2:20-21; Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 28:18-20)
As we fulfill our mission, Third Baptist Church of Chicago will enhance God’s Kingdom in these ways:
– Increasing in souls added through evangelism
– Developing new disciples, learning the faith
– Expanding its ministry to serve local and global communities
– Growing servant-leaders for the servant ministries of the church
– Working for biblical justice through advocacy and activism
Third Baptist Church of Chicago (TBCoC) was organized by founding Pastor Rev. Elmer L. Fowler on March 8, 1963 in the home of Sister Lelia Kennerson along with a small band of charter members. The first worship service was held Easter Sunday 1963 at John Foster Dulles School. Rev. Fowler selected the symbol of the “Holy Rood” for the church, which represents the three Crosses of Calvary in the Christian faith.
TBCoC moved to its first location of tenure at 69th Street and Sangamon in 1964. In 1979, Rev. Fowler moved the church to its current location, 95th Street and Ashland Avenue (renamed Fowler Blvd.) Additional surrounding properties were acquired and renovated to become the Heritage Plaza Banquet Facilities.
Having served the TBCoC for nearly 30 years, Rev. Fowler retired in 1992 and became Pastor Emeritus as Rev. Dr. Alan V. Ragland was installed as the second pastor of the church. On May 28, 2003, Rev. Fowler went home to be with the Lord.
In his tenure, Pastor Ragland has guided TBCoC to broaden its mission, vision, activities and facilities. In 1994, he implemented the Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study program, a four-level curriculum for which more than 600 “disciples” have completed at least one level. Pastor Ragland also has introduced a formal Ministers In Training program to develop and prepare men and women with a call to the ministry for God’s work.
In 2005, Pastor Ragland led TBCoC to the landmark opening of its new Life Center, a four-story facility used to support church and community activities. Rev. Ragland also has worked to expand TBCoC’s ministry on a global level by establishing and nurturing a mission-based relationship with the Ghana Baptist Convention in West Africa and with TBCoC’s sister church, First Baptist Church Takoradi in Ghana.
Under Pastor Ragland’s leadership, numerous other TBCoC ministries or organizations have been introduced and continue to flourish.