Hard times for Harlem churches

Hard times for Harlem churches

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Churches are the backbone of the African-American community in Harlem and around the country. But as the economy and real estate market change, so do the challenges they face.

The Arc choir conducts a biweekly hour of power for members and welcomes tour groups that pay per person to attend. It helps to fund the church and its rehabilitation programs. Other Harlem churches are also doing it to help meet rising costs at a time when the tithing membership is aging out or moving out because of rising rents, and the Harlem newcomers are not joining in.

But the historic Olivet Church on Lenox Avenue does not charge anyone to come inside. Rev. Dr. Charles Curtis says his doors are open equally to everyone.

While some in the congregation may find the presence of paying spectators uncomfortable, it's just one method to make ends meet.

Daniel Geiger of Crain's New York Business said there are other options. He pointed out that the Bethel Gospel Assembly Church sold unused land it owned and air rights to a developer to ensure its financial future.

Some long-established Harlem churches have struggled but are finding new ways to broaden their membership and still maintain their mission.

At Mt. Olivet, Princeton-educated pastor Curtis said the church has eliminated all debt and managed to raise the money for more than $1 million in major repairs over the last decade. He admitted it has been a challenge, but said the church is resilience and is adapting.

In this time of uncertainty, Pastor Curtis said one thing you can count on is the commitment these churches have to serving the community.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:10:52 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices