The Mustard Seed of Chicago - Our history

"A Place for Faith and Sobriety"

In January, 1963, a recovering alcoholic named Betty rented a basement apartment at the corner of Division and Astor Streets in Chicago, Illinois. The apartment was ill-furnished. There were three chairs, including a lawn chair and a three-legged milking stool, and a coffee pot. But it was enough to hold an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Which Betty did daily, beginning the Sunday after New Years. They named their new facility "The Mustard Seed." Thirty-nine years later, the meetings have grown. They've outgrown that basement and at least two other meeting places. They have outgrown their old facility, a converted firehouse at 1244 North Wells.

They've also grown in frequency. There are now more than 50 meetings a week at the Mustard Seed and its fame has spread through­out Chicago, the nation, and even the world. People from around the corner and around the world have attended meetings here. No alcoholic ever needs to go out and drink; they are always welcome at the Mustard Seed. Persons of all walks of life races, creeds, and sexual preferences have reclaimed ruined lives and fortunes with the Mustard Seed's help. Men, women, even children (at open meetings) have been welcome in these doors. The average age of the alcoholic coming in has changed (as it has throughout the Program) and more young people attend meetings here. But the old-timers and those who took longer to find what we offer also populate the meetings. We all value each other and the contribution each of us makes.

The Mustard Seed is run by volunteers. An elected Board of Directors makes independent decisions about finances, fundraising, administration, and other issues. At the Mustard Seed dollar bills are placed in baskets at meetings, but more importantly sustenance comes from faith. Each alcoholic knows that sobriety comes only through the grace of God and the fellowship of AA. Thousands find inspiration at the Mustard Seed each week.

“Nothing can be so bad…..that a drink won’t make worse.”

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