On November 25, 1995 a handful of love-sick people began to meet each Monday night in Todd and Julieann Beery’s living room, their sole desire to encounter God at the heart level. The following Mondays saw an increase in the number of people gathering, and as the gatherings continued God began to manifest His glory. Out of these encounters A.R.K. Ministries emerged.
In 1998 a personal invitation was given by Mike Bickle, ministry director and founder of IHOP K.C., to Todd Beery, asking him to begin a Friends of the Bridegroom test group in Chicago. Todd accepted the invitation and began FOTB Chicago, building it around the bridal paradigm and employing the Song of Solomon as its foundation.
As the Monday night encounters continued, FOTB Chicago began meeting on Friday nights in a local hotel conference room. Both groups continued to meet through changes in location and nights, and it was these early Friday night gatherings and Monday night encounters that set the stage for what the Lord had desired all along, a night and day prayer furnace fashioned after the tabernacle of David [link].
Through faithfulness in the little things and small beginnings what began as a living room of individuals worshiping and interceding evolved into a ministry focused on bringing night and day prayer and worship to the metro-Chicago area.
The Chicago House of Prayer was officially opened on May 26, 2000. Since then the Monday night Encountering God service and the Friday night FireWithin service have continued to meet, essential elements in the fabric of the Chicago House of Prayer.