Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church of South Chicago was organized in 1917 inspired by 11 members of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church located in South Chicago, has become an integral part of the history of the South Chicago community.
These eleven charter members were Rev. Frank Gaskin, Deacon William Bright, Deacon Joseph Thomas, Deacon Allen Smith, Sister Annie Hibbler, Brother John Shaw, Brother & Sister Peter Allen, and Deacon & Sister Foley and Mother Melissa Peeler came together in unity and love, and chose 9104 South Baltimore as the location for their newly organized house of Worship thus began Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago’s journey.
In 1917 Reverend Frank Gaskin became our First pastor, Pilgrim began to thrive under his leadership and continued to grow until 1922.
In 1926 Reverend Earl Cruther was selected as our Second pastor and ushered us into our new location which was located at 9010 South Greenbay where he led our church until 1929.
In 1929 Reverend Edward Wainright was chosen as our Third pastor. Pilgrim was now in its third building at 3311 East 91st Street. It was Rev. Wainright's desire to build a new church, but an existing building was chosen instead, In September of 1945, the entire congregation marched from 3311 East 91st Street to 3235 East 91st Street in a candlelight procession. In 1959, Pastor Wainright went home to be with the Lord on May 28, 1960, and the church was once again in search of a leader.
In 1960, God sent Reverend. Geroy G. Osborne to be our Fourth pastor to led His sheep, Pilgrim was 42 years old when God sent Pastor Osborne. Under his leadership, the church was organized into "Four Christ" groups Youth for Christ (YC’s), Young Adult for Christ (YAC’s), Adults for Christ (AC”S), and Senior's for Christ (SC’s). These ministries made Pilgrim has great historical moments in our church's history, such as being uplifted through the ministries of gospel giants like the late greats, “Mahalia Jackson” and “Thomas Dorsey” Annual Men and Women’s Day, Mother’s Day Tea, Annual Church Banquets and Promotion Day, Choir Musicals that featured great artist and First Aide Board. Pilgrim became involved in District, State, and National Baptist of USA Convention.
A group of young ministers emerged from within our membership during the eighties in the persons of Rev. William Walls, Rev. Curtis Hines, Rev. Houston Williams, Rev. Madison Davis, Rev. Moses Ross, and Rev. James Badie in the 80’s.
In 1982 God gave Pastor Osborne envisioned a feeding ministry for those that hungered, Pastor Osborne called Deaconess Mary Curse to head the Feeding Ministry along with Sis. Eva McKinnon, Deaconess Mary Harlson, Deaconess Deleane Redd and Sis. Pearl Lester and 36 years later the Feeding Ministry is still thriving and touching lives. Pastor Geroy G. Osborne left in 1985 to pursue further ministry opportunities.
In March of 1985 Reverend Hillard C. Hudson became the Fifth pastor of Pilgrim under his administration, Pilgrim began to grow as a Bible believing, Bible teaching, and spirit-filled church. Many ministries were birthed under his leadership such as Life Development, Spiritual Gift, In 1993 the planning and building of the educational complex began, Pilgrim became sought after to facilitated many motion pictures from Oprah Winfrey "Brewster's Place Series", the "Blues Brothers" and "Mike and Mollie" to be filmed at our church. In the spring of 1997, Pastor Hudson envisioned a liturgical dance which became Unity In Motion for the purpose of spiritual uplifting, and encouragement to our congregation.
August of 2006 the church experienced an electrical fire which scorched the physical building of the church and the spiritual building of the soul many acts of kindness from our sister churches opened up their doors for us to worship. In March of 2007 we moved back into Pilgrim Baptist Church our home. We celebrated our first worship services on March 11, 2007. On December 8, 2011, a church meeting was called and Pastor Hudson informed the Pilgrim family of his illness, Pastor Hudson preached his last sermon on Christmas Day 2011 from Matthews 6:13. Pastor Hudson served for 26 years until he was called home to be with the Lord on December 29, 2011.
In November 2012, Pastor Kenneth B. Spears of First Saith John Cathedral in Fort Worth Texas, visited Pilgrim to bring closure to our mourning. He led a revival that took us from a place of pain, to a place of purpose, to a place of prosperity, to a place of peace through prayer. After this revival, Pilgrim embarked on a 50-day prayer period, where prayer was being offered 24 hours a day in 15 minutes intervals. We prayed for healing and for our readiness to receive the man of God for our congregation.
On February 8, 2013, Reverend Corwin D. Lasenby, Sr. was elected to serve as our Sixth pastor. Reverend Lasenby loves the Lord, and his family, his focus is on feeding and the consistent growth of the church. In February 2, 2015 we began broadcasting to the masses through multiple Livestreaming platforms. In 2014 under the leadership of Pastor Lasenby we implemented the Twelve Tribes concept, the importance of Stewardship, and the ability to manage and be accountable for each member to ensue non be loss. Several ministries have been added to our church to fulfill the need of the whole person and to engage each member to use their gift for the Kingdom of God.
In 2014 our church began updating our current facility to make it more efficient and adding aesthetically upgrades necessary to provide ministry in the 21st Century.
In 2020 our church purchased 9127-31 South Burley to house our youth church, administrative wing, classrooms, and a rental venue and openly shared with the community with a commit to the revitalization of our community.
The vision that God has given our pastor for Pilgrim is to Reach, Revive, Restore and Retain all whom the Lord sends to Pilgrim, our pastor view toward ministry is prayer and the "all hands-on deck” approach.
Our Mission at Pilgrim is to "Create and Cultivate a Culture of Worship that Glorifies Jesus Christ’ epitomized in the weekly worship experience that is enjoyed at Pilgrim every Sunday. Our pastor believes that all of God’s people have a place in ministry.
Rev. Frank Gaskin
Served 1917 - 1922
Rev. Earl Cruther
Served 1926 - 1929
Rev. Edward Wainright
Served 1929 - 1960
Rev. Geroy G. Osborne
Served 1960 - 1985
Rev. Hillard C. Hudson
Served 1985 - 2011
Rev. Corwin Lasenby, Sr.
Served 2013 - Present
Corwin D. Lasenby, Sr.
is the proud Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago.
Pastor Lasenby was called to this vineyard in February 2013. Pastor Lasenby trusts and depends on Gods leading and was led by the Lord to Pilgrim. In four months he has grown to know the members and teaches and preaches with zeal and purpose. The church has grown in number and most important spirituality.
Pastor Lasenby pastored New Mount Zion Missionary Church of Daytona Beach, Florida, Inc. from July 2006 to June 2012. Pastor Lasenby grew the church spiritually and in numbers through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Lasenby has instituted such ministries as the Collegiate Minsitry, Food and Clothing Ministry, and the Couple's Ministry. Church growth seems to be a gift God has given to Pastor Lasenby.
Pastor Lasenby has been an ordained Baptist minister since 1989; his educational background extends from Moody Bible Institute, the Chicago Bible Institute and St. Thomas Bible College.
Pastor Lasenby grew up on the Southside of Chicago and was educated in the public school system. He understood at an early age that Christ was the Way, the Truth and the Life.
He was crowned by Pastor Clay Evans of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church as the youngest Deacon in the church's history at that time, serving as a Senior Deacon for five years. The calling that Jeremiah felt is the same calling that Pastor Lasenby felt of "Fire being shut up in his bones" thus began his journey. After ten years of preaching, God imparted in him a Pastor's heart. He served and worked in the vineyard under four great Pastors when God called him to Shepherd the Flock of Victory Tabernacle Baptist Church where he pastured for two years.
Pastor Lasenby is a member of the National Baptist Convention of USA Inc. where he teaches in the Youth Division. He truly has a servant's heart and shows this by having been an active member for many years in the Rainbow Push Coalition in Chicago, Illinois. He is the Former Chairman of the Daytona Beach Housing Authority Board of Directors. He currently was elected to the Chamber of Commerce of South Chicago Board and the board of Claretian and Associates.
Pastor Lasenby is best known for being a people person. Anyone can talk with him and feel like they have gained a friend. You can not only find him in the pulpit on Sunday mornings but walking in the community talking to people and to reach, resotre and revive those who he meets along the way.
Pastor Lasenby has been married to Tracey for 30 wonderful years and they share three great children: Ashley, Corwin, Jr. and Cody. God has blessed this union and they are glad about it.
Pastor Lasenby understands all thing are possible if you only believe.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”
II Corinthians 4:3