In his final sermon after more than a quarter century as leader of one of Chicago’s most prominent congregations, Rev. John Buchanan imparted a message that has come to characterize his ministry.
“Hold to the good,” he said from a high pulpit with more than one thousand sets of eyes trained on him from the crowded pews at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Sunday.
Taking a lesson from Scripture, the retiring pastor called on members of the congregation to love their neighbors regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, economics or politics.
Tucked amid the towering skyscrapers on North Michigan Avenue, Fourth Church, as it’s commonly referred to by congregants, has become a destination for churchgoers. They pour in from Chicago neighborhoods and the suburbs like the sunlight that streams through church’s stain glass windows.
Congregants packed every pew on Sunday to hear Buchanan preach as they have in increasing numbers for the last 26 years.
“Of course, Pastor Buchanan,” Richard Knaus said when asked why he travels from Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood on Sundays to attend service. “I think a shepherd should smell like his sheep. He is really a man of the people.”