Englewood church fire: Mural depicting Jesus spared from devastating flames

After a fire destroyed Englewood’s historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Good Friday, a wall depicting Jesus’ ascension was seemingly spared from the flames.

The mural, on an inside wall of the church, appeared to be untouched after several days of burning, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

"It’s just one of those things," said Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt, who could not say why the mural was spared.


The colorful image shows Jesus ascending to the heavens, flanked by two angels as his disciples look on. "While he blessed them he was parted from them and carried up into heaven" from Luke 24:51 is written above the scene.

A mural at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church was seemingly untouched after a fire destroyed the building.

Pastor Gerald Dew couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Not long after Pastor Dew held a Good Friday service Friday afternoon, a fire tore through the historic structure at 6248 S. Stewart Ave., caused by a propane torch being used to work on the church’s roof.

The fire appeared to begin in the upper rear area of the church and ultimately caused the roof to collapse. Around 150 fire personnel and 50 engines, trucks and ambulances responded to the scene and put out the fire in about two hours.

(Chicago Fire Department)

The church’s congregation gathered Sunday at a nearby funeral home for an Easter service. Afterward, Dew said the service marked "a new beginning" for the church and even brought new members.

He also called for donations to address the toll of the fire. "I’ve seen resurrection in my own lifetime," he told the Sun-Times. "And this church is gonna be bigger and stronger than ever."