As the 27th annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival moved this past weekend to Bronzeville, it’s fitting that plans for a museum have been resurrected for a spot across from the landmark Pilgrim Baptist Church, 3300 S. Indiana. In the 1930s, its congregation played a role in the rise of gospel music, as the home base of Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of gospel music, and author of more than 3,000 blues and gospel songs, including “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (1932), recorded by acts as diverse as Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and Ike and Tina Turner.
Pilgrim Baptist pastor Tyrone R. Jordan recently reached out to Keeble. “He needs a base,” Jordan said in an interview last week. “And what is a better base than the home of gospel music?”
Jordan offered Keeble the entire 3,000-square-foot third floor of Pilgrim Baptist’s temporary home at 3301 S. Indiana, a former car dealership. In January 2006, Pilgrim Baptist was consumed by fire and is being rebuilt on its original site.
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