Church History

St. John the Baptist Melkite Greek Catholic ChurchThe parish of Saint John in the Chicagoland area dates back to the 19th Century. Over the years, it has fluctuated between periods of prosperity and struggle for survival.

The parish was founded in 1894 by Father Basilios Souaya, a Basilian Shouerite priest who had arrived in the United States a year earlier. The name “Saint John the Baptist” in Lebanon.

The parish established its home at 323 S. Franklin Street, Chicago and used it until 1902. Today this address is steps away from the world famous Sears Tower. They had a steady growth in the number of families in the early days (36 families in 1906 to 95 families in 1935) and purchased a church at 1249 S. Washtenaw in 1910. This church became home of local Melkites for fifty-eight years as well as a center for Chicago’s Maronite and Orthodox communities.

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After 1950, the families of Saint John began scattering to the suburbs while the other communities had established their own churches. In 1966, with the help of God, a handful of people driven by their faith in Jesus, their love to their roots and the zeal of their pastor the church was able to be revitalized and in 1969 acquire our current location in Northlake, Illinois.