by Justin Rose
The older adult prayer warriors arrived early on Sunday morning—as they do every week—spending at least a half hour before the service begins preparing for worship. On this particular Sunday their prayers are focused on giving thanks for the abundant blessings God has bestowed on the Chicago Mayfair Community Church Corps as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
As worship begins, the corps’ three different congregations (Korean, English and Spanish speaking) gather for this special occasion. Originally founded as the Chicago Korean Corps, the corps underwent a name and cultural change as the surrounding neighborhood diversified. While the majority of the congregation is still Korean, the corps family now includes 10 ethnicities, six languages and four generations.
General Paul Rader (Rtd.) and Commissioner Kay Rader were guests for the event. They spoke with conviction, in flawless Korean, reminding the congregation to look ahead with confidence and faith as they cherish the past. Mark Ridenour, soldier from the Des Plaines Corps who is also assistant principal trumpet for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, presented a beautiful solo, “My song of songs,” accompanied by the corps’ combined adult and youth bands. The morning demonstrated how the corps’ variety of people, with different talents and backgrounds, comprise the body of Christ.
An evening celebration concert highlighted the integral part music has played in the corps. The festival featured the corps’ music groups, music school students from Volta Elementary School and the Norridge Citadel, Ill., Band, a clear presentation of the gospel through drama, and a message by General Rader. Of course, in the spirit of the occasion and the season, the night would not have been complete without a massive 80-plus member band performance of “Carol of the Bells.”
Mayfair is a place where individuals not only worship on Sunday but are involved and committed to their corps. The corps is blessed with a strong heritage of putting the Church first, serving others and showing love in practical ways.
“When I reflect upon the history of the Mayfair Community Church, I find myself sinking in the ocean of God’s grace. I can say that He has been sovereign, ever-present and faithful. Our corps has only come this far because of His constant providence and mercy,” said Major Ho-Yoon Chang, corps officer with his wife, Major Keyoung Chang.
On the milestone of 25 years of ministry, members of the corps still begin every morning at 6:00 a.m. in a prayer service, putting God first and seeking His blessing for today and the coming years.