John Gress Chicago Photographer

Flash From The Past: April 16, 2006

Five years ago today I met reporter James Kelleher. He had come up with a story to feature a truck stop preacher in rural Illinois. After a few hours of driving, the two of us found our selves in the back of a semi trailer, which served as a church for road worriers of the 18-wheel variety. On a personal note, I am not a very religious person and this may very well have been the only church service I attended in 2006.

John Gress Chicago Photographer

Flash From The Past: April 15, 2007

On April 15 2007, I began a two day project photographing illegal immigrant Elvira Arellano who has spent eight whole months inside the Adalberto United Methodist church in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago, which maintained it was a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. On August 19, 2007, having traveled to California to make appearances, Arellano was arrested by outside of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in downtown Los Angeles and deported to Mexico. It was an interesting assignment made even more difficult by my poor spanglish and Arellano’s inability to speak English. Only today did I learn that her son Saul, was born in my native Oregon.