Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ is known for hosting the 1955 funeral of Emmett Till, which helped spark the civil rights movement.
The funeral and extended visitation for Emmett Till held September 3-6, 1955, at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ were pivotal events in American history.
Mamie Till-Mobley’s insistence on an open casket funeral at Roberts Temple—allowing mourners to see the condition of her 14-year-old son's body, brutally murdered in Mississippi after being accused of whistling at a white woman—appalled and angered the thousands who waited in long lines to pay their respects, and helped catalyze the Civil Rights movement.
Though listed as a Chicago Landmark for its association with Emmett Till’s funeral, the church today has severe structural issues and is only minimally used by the congregation. To ensure long-term viability, the building needs rehabilitation funding and partnerships.
On July 25, 2023, President Biden designated the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, which includes Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, Illinois, the Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi, and Graball Landing on the banks of the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi.