Chicago Church Saved From Auction by Last-Minute Gift

Chicago Church Saved From Auction by Last-Minute Gift

A hundred and twenty-year-old church in Chicago has been saved from auction after a midnight call from a group of donors — an intervention that one church official called "a Christmas miracle," ABC7 News reports.

After legal issues and about $8 million in debt resulted in its bank foreclosing on the property, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in the Belmont Central neighborhood was slated to be auctioned off on December 14. But shortly before midnight on the 13th — and after the final service had ended — church leaders received a call from a nonprofit that offered to give the church nearly $2 million to help it purchase the property from the bank. 

Thanks to the gift, the church will be able to re-file for bankruptcy, halting the auction and preventing the demolition of the building, said parish council president Stanley Andreakis. While the nonprofit hasn't been identified, church officials said at least one of the donors is a member of the congregation.

"Last night, we were all here praying, we were praying for a Christmas miracle, and it came through," said Andreakis. "We had some individuals approach us and…our lawyer put together… at the last minute, at the eleventh hour…a bankruptcy plan so we can restructure because of these guardian angels."