“THE TEMPLE” TO SERVE AS BEACON OF LIGHT

Pastor John Hannah, founder and senior pastor of New Life, celebrated the opening of The Temple, a 100,000 square foot church that can also be used as a performing arts center. Photos by Tia Carol Jones
Pastor John Hannah, founder and senior pastor of New Life, celebrated the opening of The Temple, a 100,000 square foot church that can also be used as a performing arts center. Photos by Tia Carol Jones

“The Temple” to serve as beacon of light

BY TIA CAROL JONES
Pastor John Hannah had a vision to create an oasis in a dry spot with the goal to reinvigorate and revitalize the community where ‘The Temple’ is located.

John Hannah, the founder and senior pastor of New Life Covenant, celebrated the grand opening of its new church and
performing arts center, ‘The Temple’, with a three-day event.

The 100,000 square foot facility, located at 7621 S. Greenwood, has 4,000 seats and can also be used as a community performing arts center.

Prior to opening ‘The Temple’, New Life hosted services at ‘The Tabernacle’, located at 1021 E. 78th St. When attendance exceeded the space, the church hosted services at the UIC Forum.

“It feels like the perfect time to open a church for New Life Covenant said Executive Pastor Jermone Glenn”.

“In this moment, with everything that has happened the COVID pandemic and all that, it feels like the perfect time. Had it been a year sooner, a day sooner, it would have been more stressful,” he said.

New Life Covenant received occupancy the same day the City of Chicago released the ban on occupancy. The timing could
not have been any better for the church. The whole city was invited to what Glenn called a “Thank You God” moment.

“We wanted to build something in the city, in the community that people can look to as a model and feel encouraged by,” he said. “ ‘The Temple’ serves as a model for people to see something and aspire to be proud of on the South side of the city.”

Life is the goal.

“Where there is violence, poverty, sickness and drug addiction, it’s usually because there is no life, no plan, no hope, nobody that cares, nobody that invests, no body that says you matter. We have a school partnership on the corner, Arts in Motion, teenagers bring life. We have a production house at the end, we have ’The Tabernacle’ that we started in before we came here. We have this building that also brings opportunity for artistry. The Isley Brothers can come here, the O’Jays can come here,” he said.

The hope is people in the community will be able to see the possibilities and opportunities that are available to them.

After seven years, now to be in the space Hannah is excited and it has been worth the wait. It is what we have been
waiting on.

“I think it is a light in this community, I think it is a symbol of hope. One of my desires was to make sure we brought something first class into our community for our people,” Hannah said.

Normally to see something of the magnitude of ‘The Temple’, people have to travel to downtown or to the Suburbs. Pastor Hannah wanted to make sure Black people and the next generation would be able to experience something fresh, something new and something first class.

New Life hosted a walk through for the community members and business owners. Everyone was blown away and excited to know it was in the community. Hannah knows that ‘The Temple’ will bring art to the community, with that will come jobs, housing and education. He said these things are a total turnover for
the community.

“We press go, so it’s not a breathe easy, it’s now a let’s do what you plan to do with this facility. Let it be what it’s supposed to be on Sunday to go after the lost. Let it be a light in the community Monday through Saturday. Then we will begin to bring the arts and everything to this community,” Pastor Hannah said.

Services take place 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. as well as 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information, visit www.newlifesoutheast.
org.

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