Daniel Chapel AfricanMethodist Episcopal Zion Church
Daniel Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church was organized in Phoenix, Illinois on July 17, 1938 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Grayson by Rev. Thomas L. Daniel. Services were held in the Grayson's home for about five weeks until the Community Club House was secured.
Dr. Silas Samuels, who was then our Presiding Elder, held the first Quarterly Conference. With the help of God, our membership increased and allowed the opportunity to purchase a building at 15110 9th Avenue.
In July 1954, Rev. Daniel was assigned to pastor St. John A.M.E. Zion Church in Hammond, Indiana. Rev. Ernest Benford was sent to pastor the people at Daniel Chapel. Rev. Benford worked hard during his short tenure, for one year later, in October 1955 Rev. Benford was called home to be with the Lord.
At that time, Bishop W.J. Walls appointed Rev. Henry Miller the charge as pastor to the people at Daniel Chapel. Rev. Miller was a good, young minister with progressive ideas. The membership was willing to work, so Rev. Miller set forth with plans to move from 9th Avenue to the present location. Ground breaking ceremonies were held here at 15250 3rd Avenue on May 1, 1963.
Rev. Miller, having led the congregation in the building of this new facility, it's administrative wing, and it's parsonage had yet another dream. He witnessed and shared the concerns of those who were unable, due to physical handicaps, to attend service or transverse the steep and sometimes dangerous steps to the sanctuary. His dream was to create a clean, safe and spacious environment that would accommodate the needs of the handicapped while adding convenience, beauty and easy access to the sanctuary & fellowship hall.
In 1988, the officers and members set out to change the facade of the church and to provide, to all who would come, a place for comfortable worship. The plans were laid, the sketches were complete, and the design was approved. One year later, in 1989, the work was completed.
In 1990, Rev. Miller decided to retire from being a full time pastor. In February 1991, Bishop Clinton R. Coleman appointed Rev. Harry Spigner to the pastorate of Daniel Chapel. Rev. Spigner went to work immediately after meeting with the officers to eliminate the church mortgage. He determined that with a mortgage balance of $120,000 and annual interest of over $15,000, something needed to be done. He challenged the Building Fund Committee, the officers and church family to retire the mortgage in 18 months, by October 1992. After only 14 months of work, giving and sacrifice by the members, in June 1992 enough funds were available to effectively eliminate the mortgage.
It was under Rev. Spigner's leadership that the Antioch addition was established for the church building, adding more space for teaching opportunities. The congregation continued to grow in spirit and ministry as he introduced an Annual Evangelistic Street Crusade held outside on the corner of 153rd & 8th Avenue, where many souls came to know Christ through effective witnessing.
In October 2005, Bishop Milton Williams appointed Rev. Spigner to pastor Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church in Indianapolis, IN. It was then that Rev. Dr. Derrick Simmons came to pastor the people at Daniel Chapel. Pastor Simmons immediately went to work, on the spiritual as well as the physical makeup of the church.
Rev. Simmons made vast improvements as in enhancing and improving the sound system. New pew cushionswere permanently installed. As well, a new roof and new kitchen appliances were purchased. Spiritually, the class leader system was revamped; the prayer ministry was revitalized, and we now have an 8am as well as an 11am worship service every Sunday. Church School is available to adults at 9:30am (along with crafts for children) and to children and youth at 11am. Additional ministries have been developed that are providing opportunities for many members to use the gifts that the Lord has provided them. Plus, Rev. Simmons has brought exposure to the church with the creation of this website you are viewing now into the realm of social media, such as Facebook. Each of these elements are proving to be a blessing to the members as well as to the community at large.
Today, as we worship, we can truly say that God has blessed us. Rev. Daniel planted, Rev. Benford, Rev. Miller, Rev. Spigner and Rev. Simmons have all watered - but it was GOD that gave the increase. We thank God for sending us true servants to lead us along the journey.
The entire congregation of Daniel Chapel continues to give praise of gratitude to God for all the things that He has done in the life of this ministry!
DANIEL CHAPEL A.M.E. ZION CHURCH
15250 3rd Avenue - Phoenix, IL 60426