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Abyssinian Baptist Church

Established in the early 1800s, Abyssinian Baptist Church is one of the oldest African-American Baptist churches in the nation and the first in New York state. It continues to serve as a center of worship, social activism and culture.

About Abyssinian Baptist Church

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” –1 Peter 2:9

Abyssinian-Sunday-ServiceFounded in 1808, Abyssinian Baptist Church is one of the oldest African-American Baptist churches in the United States.

Housed in a landmark Gothic- and Tudor-style building in Harlem, Abyssinian embraces a rich history of worship, spiritual leadership, social activism and community service.

Through more than 50 ministries, Abyssinian diligently seeks to fulfill its mission to “win more souls for Christ through evangelism, pastoral care, Christian education, social service delivery, and community development.” In this way, Abyssinian serves the greater Harlem community and New York City and its vicinities, as well as a global constituency—all for the glory of God.

Abyssinian-Church-ExteriorAffiliates such as the Abyssinian Development Fund, the Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, the Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School, Blue Nile Passage, Youth on the Move in Our Community, and the Abyssinian Fund extend Abyssinian’s reach out into the community. These affiliates seek to address social and economic concerns by providing affordable housing, programs for the homeless, and quality education; by promoting youth character and leadership development; and by working to eradicate poverty in Ethiopia (the country viewed as Abyssinian’s ancestral homeland).

Three weekly worship services (two each Sunday and a Midweek Manna on Wednesdays), as well as a host of other events offer members, visitors and friends an opportunity to both praise and draw closer to God.

DANCE-at-abyssinianIllustrating the church’s role as a caretaker as well as a center of African American culture, Abyssinian’s programs are often infused with music that deftly spans a range of genres: spirituals, high anthems, traditional and contemporary gospel, praise, jazz, blues, R&B and hip hop. All are offered up as a celebration of the highest values of our culture and our music.

Building upon its legacy, Abyssinian continues to move forward in the larger service of humanity, working to foster a membership that will spread the Gospel message and be disciples of Jesus in their homes, communities, and church. All is done to ensure that Abyssinian can fulfill its mission and change the world by changing hearts and lives to love the Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Baptism-at-Abyssinian