Our Story

Chicago's Clarke House Museum

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 NIV

The Loop Church of the Nazarene may have taken seed in 2018, but our church’s roots in Chicago reach back as far as 1900.

From those initial meetings in the Philpot’s home over a century ago, to opening the Southside Pentecostal Mission in 1903, to the tent meeting in 1904 that became Chicago First, to hosting the First General Assembly in 1907—the legacy of Nazarenes in Chicago is rich and inspiring.

In March 2018, Reuben and Stephanie Lillie together with their newborn son Corban purchased a new home in Chicago’s Loop. After seven years of faithful ministry among neighbors in the Hyde Park and Lincoln Square communities, they have embarked upon the adventures of parenthood and church planting in Printer’s Row, following the Holy Spirit’s call downtown.

Since then, we’ve been praying especially for how the Church of the Nazarene should take shape here. And that prayer has turned into a daily prayer walk—praying in public with and for our neighbors outside local landmarks.

True to our earliest days, we have a vision for a compassionate ministry center (CMC) to care for our neighbors experiencing urban poverty. Not only do we pray the center will host a local Nazarene congregation, but we also envision operating an event service to provide job opportunities to clients from the CMC as well as students from local colleges and universities. On October 13, 2018, a Board of Directors formally organized the Loop Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Inc.

We are expressly interested in transforming the Loop from a tourist destination or a place of employment into a missional destination—where we can all be employed by the Holy Spirit to share the love of Jesus of Nazareth with our neighbors in greatest need.

This goes for residents, commuters, and tourists. Professing Christians or otherwise—whether you’re here everyday or you’ve never been here before.

When you’re with us in the Loop, you’re in one of the fullest neighborhoods in the world. Here is where some of the largest fortunes are made—but also where some of the greatest needs are felt. We can all make a difference. And we will do better together.

We are actively recruiting fellow Nazarenes and other friends who find themselves in the Loop. We want to partner with you!

Whether you work downtown or are only here for a few hours, we want to pray with you. Thousands of faithful disciples are already downtown every day. And we want to invite you and empower you to live on mission together as we all strive together to clothe, shelter, feed, heal, educate, and live in solidarity with our neighbors who suffer under oppression, injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, and disease.

Please keep us in the loop about when you’re in the Loop. And stay tuned!