Helping the People in Our Community for Over Three Decades
The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center was formed in 1990 by a group of Muslims in association with Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, who wanted their life represented in the community we are in.
In 1990, we opened Masjid Al Mu’minun, which means “mosque of the believers,” which was located at 8607 ½ South Ashland Avenue. at that time. We began to introduce ourselves to the community by doing da’wah work—meaning “propagation work” in addressing the needs of the community and later led to our first community parade called the “Walk for Moral Excellence.” Its purpose was to raise awareness on the problems that plague our communities.
After being established for a few years and growing as an organization, it was decided that the current location was too small, and we needed a larger facility to continue our mission and growth.
We secured the property at our current location at 2525 & 2523 W. 71 St. Chicago, Illinois back in 1994. Since then, we’ve changed our name from Masjid Al Mu’minun to The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center, where our mission stayed the same.
The reason we chose the name Ephraim Bahar was to honor a Pioneer who worked hard and made big sacrifices in support of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s mission for the Nation of Islam.
Ephraim Bahar was among The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s most faithful followers. His name ties in with the meaning of fruitful and productive. As such, he was rich in the spirit of doing for the self, and he devoted his life to supporting the mission of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in raising the plight of the African American people and dignifying them.
We take pride in naming our center after a dedicated, honorable, and G’d-fearing Brother, whom we lovingly call a Pioneer. His unfailing love for the cause of building a nation (The Nation of Islam) in its early years in the United States of America has left his mark upon the heart of this community we evolved into Al-Islam.
It is for this reason, through his name, The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center was given. To honor him, in the spirit of all those Pioneers who made big sacrifices for what they believed in, and as an inspiration to all of us to carry forth with their spirit and dedication as we continue to evolve into the future.
Since our doors were opened in 1994 at 2525 & 2523 West 71st Street, The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center (EBCC) has worked closely with other community organizations like Masjid Al Taqwa, S.W.O.P. (Southwest Organizing Project), IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network), C.I.O.G.C. (Council of Islamic Organization of Greater Chicago), The Focolare Movement, CLMP (The Chicago Lawn Marquette Park) Homeowner Association, and our neighbors.
The Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center is always ready to help in community affairs, embracing the neighborhood block clubs, the CAPS Program, and opening communications between all faith communities. Together we bridge our common bonds to work towards improving our communities and remaking a better world for our future.