Rev. James Meeks

Rev. James Meeks retires as Senior Pastor of Salem Baptist Church

Rev. James Meeks the only Pastor Salem Baptist Church of Chicago has ever had, has passed the baton to Pastor elect Charlie E. Dates.
Rev. James Meeks

Meeks is retiring as senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church after almost half a century in ministry, baptizing 20,000 people, and 38 years with the church he started in the Pullman area from the ground up. Salem’s House of Hope (where Sunday service is held) is one of the largest African American churches in the state.

Meeks announced his retirement from ministry during a Sunday service this past June.

He also announced his successor, the Rev. Charlie Date, who has known the south-side pastor since before he started fifth grade at the church’s now-closed Salem Christian Academy. Dates has served under his leadership for decades.

Rev. James Meeks

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