Chicago Temple, a beautiful sanctuary, remains a Chicago Classic - KMSP-TV

Chicago Temple, a beautiful downtown sanctuary, remains a Chicago Classic

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The First United Methodist Church of Chicago is based at one of the city's most beautiful sanctuaries, the Chicago Temple. Framed by massive wooden trusses, the gothic-revival style gem can seat more than 800 worshipers and is the long time home of the church.

This could be news to a vast majority of people who walk by the corner of Washington and Clark every day, right across from Daley Plaza. It has been a downtown fixture for nearly 90 years.

"There are 60,000 people a day who go past this corner," Senior pastor Rev. Philip Blackwell said. "59,000 don't know there's a church here, and the other thousand may not care. But we're here and the Methodists have been on this corner since the 1830's."

But unless you look up and see the steeple, you wouldn't know it was a place of worship. At 568 feet to the tip of the spire, it was the tallest building in city when finished in 1924.

There are sensational views from six sides of this octagon-shaped three-story apartment, 23 floors above the sanctuary. The parsonage is home to Pastor Blackwell and his wife.

"And while you can be in much higher places in Chicago," Blackwell said, "You can't be more nestled into the life of the city then right here."

Just above the parsonage is the sky-chapel, which can be reached by two elevators and two sets of stairs. The chapel is reputed to be the highest place of Christian worship in the world.

Tours of this church are conducted seven days a week. It's a popular destination for architecture buffs and God-fearing people of all faiths.

The sky-chapel gives new meaning to the much loved hymn "nearer my God to thee."

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