Former Mount Calvary United Methodist Church

STATUS Threatened

116 Edgecombe Avenue

DATE: 1897

Church Shirley Chisholm

Designated as part of the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District June 15, 2021

One of the earliest houses of worship in the area, the former Mount Calvary United Methodist Church (originally Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement) was built in 1897 and designed by Henry Anderson with an awe-inducing sanctuary complete with a soaring ribbed groin vault and lancet windows in the apse portraying the Evangelist in stained glass. It was originally constructed to serve the spiritual needs of the neighborhood’s German immigrant community but was purchased in 1924 by former members of the long-established First A.M.E. Bethel Church located at 60 West 132nd Street. By the 1940s, the church boasted one of the largest Methodist congregations in Harlem. In 1946, Shirley Chisholm was hired to be a teacher in its nursery school, and she taught there for seven years. In 1968, Ms. Chisholm  became the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress and four years later, the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. Throughout her political career, Ms. Chisholm spoke about the impact her work with children had upon her.

*The church continues to be threatened by the owner/developer who planned to demolish and redevelop the site. There is an effort to have the church removed from the Historic District. Send a letter to the Mayor and City Council to support the church’s designation here

STATUS Threatened

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