New York City is home to numerous religious denominations and houses of worship, each known for its world-renowned gospel choirs that perform at Sunday services or special events. One such house of worship that stands out is Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem – it offers lively services filled with audience participation!
Abyssinian Baptist Church
The Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York, is a historic African-American church founded by black members who withdrew from First Baptist Church on Gold Street due to racially segregated seating practices in 1808. As they desired their church based upon its name – which they later took after Ethiopia’s ancient name Abyssinia – on Worth Street, they purchased the property and constructed their building.
Over its history, this church has had several pastors, including Reverend William Spellman (1856-1885), Adam Clayton Powell Sr (1908-1936) and Dr Calvin O Butts III (1989-present). Additionally, social services this congregation provides to its members and surrounding community, such as housing for senior citizens, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and after-school programs, have all contributed towards improving life within and outside its walls.
Samuel DeWitt Proctor continues the Abyssinian Church’s long tradition of social activism by founding and leading the Abyssinian Development Corporation to enhance housing, community services, and cultural institutions in its area. Furthermore, Proctor invited New York Philharmonic concerts into Abyssinian for annual concerts held there, which helped revitalize it after declining during its initial decline period during the 1990s and now makes it one of the largest and most influential Baptist churches worldwide.
Bethel Gospel Assembly
Bethel Gospel Assembly can be found at 2-26 East 120th Street and across from Marcus Garvey Park (also known as Mount Morris Park). It also houses housing developments and rental apartments; visitors can access Bethel Gospel Assembly by taking any of the #2, #3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 trains to 125th Street Madison Avenue or take the #7 bus downtown to 121st Street Lenox Avenue for easy accessibility; parking can also be found within proximity to Bethel Gospel Assembly’s property or surrounding streets.
Church is a caring community that welcomes newcomers with open arms. Beyond Harlem patrons, this church greatly emphasizes global and national outreach with sister churches in South Africa, Atlanta, Florida, and elsewhere. Pastor Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at Alliance Theological Seminary, Davis College, and Lancaster Bible College on urban and global mission topics.
Pastor Robinson serves on the Board of Beth-Hark Christian Counseling Center, a non-profit social service arm of Bethel Gospel Assembly that meets the holistic needs of many in its vicinity. Additionally, he participates in missions programs of Bethel Gospel Assembly, such as disciple-making initiatives in India, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and South Africa, as well as Living Water Christian Center – a bilingual French/English congregation affiliated with Bethel Gospel Assembly in New York City – where he acts as Pastor.
Canaan Baptist Church
This church is well known for its gospel music and energetic services. Members are dedicated to cultivating meaningful relationships that lead to spiritual development. Families can find comfort here while raising children while learning more about God. Furthermore, events are held throughout the year.
Gospel music is an effective means of expressing faith. Church services at Redeemer are intentionally energetic and full of the vibrancy of the African-American religious experience. Music and scripture come together to produce an experience that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally fulfilling for worshippers.
Second Canaan Baptist Church is one of Harlem’s most iconic Baptist churches and attracts tourists from all over. Recently, however, an usher from this church attempted to intimidate a black gospel singer selling CDs outside the building for sale; she refused to be intimidated and continued selling her music instead of being intimidated into leaving. When this didn’t work out, the usher called the police, who ultimately supported her position and the gospel singer.
Greater Refuge Temple
Greater Refuge Temple is an impressive church in Harlem with a striking facade featuring vibrant stripes that refuse to blend into its surroundings. Calling out to passersby, this church beckons people into its fold to join in its lively music and celebrate culture while worshiping God together.
The church was established by the late Bishop R.C. Lawson, who passed away shortly after that and quickly flourished, soon moving into larger quarters before merging with Refuge Church of Christ to form the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Apostolic Faith Inc (COOLJC).
Alexander Stewart, an esteemed historian of African-American Pentecostalism, recently donated an extensive collection of COOLJC history to New York’s Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. This impressive archive includes both Trinitarian and Oneness African-American church materials; Stewart was raised at Bethel Gospel Assembly – a large Trinitarian congregation in Harlem – before joining Greater Refuge Temple (COOLJC church), collecting artifacts related to African-American Oneness Pentecostalism as an adult.
Times Square Church
This church emphasizes prayer and healing, boasting over 100 nationalities among its congregation and welcoming individuals from all backgrounds. Their pastor is an exceptional preacher with a heart for ministering to those in need, hosting an international prayer meeting every Tuesday night that draws thousands. Additionally, they host various ministries, including feeding homeless individuals and assisting children in need.
Times Square Church was founded by David Wilkerson – the best-selling author of “The Cross and the Switchblade.” Serving one of New York’s most challenging neighborhoods, its services still help provide spiritual and material relief for its congregation, which includes alcoholics, prostitutes, drug addicts, and dying AIDS patients from all across New York City. Daily meetings include meetings of alcoholics, prostitutes, drug addicts, and dying AIDS patients, as well as daily meetings that bring in all types of visitors ranging from homeless individuals up to dying AIDS patients from across New York City who all seek spiritual relief at Times Square Church.
Carter Conlon is a charismatic preacher who enjoys teaching the Bible. With a unique style of preaching that often draws inspiration from his messages, his sermons have attracted followers worldwide; these teachings serve to uphold people from diverse backgrounds and provide much-needed hope and comfort for people across cultures. Furthermore, he writes an inspiring weekly column for pastors, which has received numerous requests worldwide.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle is an international, multicultural church in downtown Brooklyn that has gained widespread acclaim for its music ministry. Led by Carol Cymbala – Jim Cymbala’s wife – its Choir has recorded many albums and won six Grammy awards. Additionally, prayer meetings occur every Tuesday night, with prayer bands interceding for needs all over the globe.
Though large and prosperous, this church remains true to its origins as a Bible-based nondenominational church, emphasizing preaching the gospel and reaching out to lost souls rather than seeking money, popularity, or power. Pastor Jim Cymbala speaks passionately with deep conviction and wisdom when preaching the sermons at each service.
Location in downtown Brooklyn allows this church to meet the needs of New York City’s diverse cultural community while its large congregation includes members from different backgrounds. Services aim to uplift and spiritually edify, while outreach programs spread the gospel message worldwide.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle can be found at 17 Smith Street in downtown Brooklyn and can be reached easily using any 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, R, or F subway lines and Jay Street Metrotech station located approximately 570 feet away from it.