They’re on a mission from God, it’s just delayed a bit.
The congregation of the South Side church where scenes from “The Blues Brothers” were filmed planned to host a celebration this summer — on the film’s 40th anniversary — and auction stained-glass windows that were an integral part of the Blues Brothers’ epiphany to “get the band back together.”
In the movie, actor John Belushi famously proclaims “I have seen the light!” as he glows with celestial rays cast upon him through stained glass.
But the Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago, which appeared in film as the Triple Rock Baptist Church, canceled the celebration, scheduled for July, because of the pandemic and now hopes to host the first “Triple Rock Weekend” in July 2021.
The celebration was to include gospel music, a viewing of the movie and a silent auction featuring 21 panels of stained glass, including three that were illuminated by heavenly rays of light in the movie.
“We’re disappointed,” pastor Corwin Lasenby said. “But we have to keep rolling with the punches. We hope to recapture the same energy after the pandemic.”
Movie crews filmed outside the church and in the church vestibule. Producers paid to install stained-glass windows in front of the church to match the intricate ones in the rest of the building. The inside was recreated on a set for a scene showing late singer James Brown as the Rev. Cleophus James leading his congregation in lively, and sometimes aerial, song and dance. The recreation was so exact that a church leader wondered if crews snuck inside to film.
The church, 3235 E. 91st St., draws fans from all over the world.
About six years ago, a couple from Italy were married at the church based on their devotion to the film.
The celebration and auction were meant to raise money for feed the homeless and other community outreach efforts.
“Every week we get three or four people from another country taking pictures at the church,” said Lasenby’s wife, Tracey Lasenby. “If promoting the church because of this iconic movie is what it takes to feed the homeless, that’s what we’ll do.”