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Celebration at Abyssinian Baptist Church

Through words, music, dance, visual and fine arts and service to one another—our joy in the Lord is made manifest in many forms. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” –Philippians 4:4


Abyssinian Webmaster Earns Top Honors from Divinity School

Top Honors: Abyssinian Webmaster Lela Harris, earned high honors in her graduation from divinity school. Ms. Harris, who has been an Abyssinian webmaster since 2013, graduated as the valedictorian.and received the Samuel Horace James, Sr. Theological Award for being Valedictorian of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, Class of 2017. Kudos!


New Legacy Scholarships to Fund Post Secondary Education

Continue the Legacy: Through Abyssinian’s new Legacy Scholarship Program members and friends of the Abyssinian Baptist Church may create post-secondar y scholarships or endowments to be given in honor of loved ones or self. Funds and recipient selection will be administered through Abyssinian’s Scholarship Ministry. Praise the Lord!


New Giving Kiosk Offers Additional Donation Option

Gather the Tithes: Abyssinian’s new donation/giving kiosk offers another way for members, visitors and friends to quickly make a donation to the church. The new kiosk, located in the Vestry, is easy to use and also offers the option to make an anonymous gift. Find out more about it here.



First Time Author SA Collins Celebrates God’s Love

God’s Love: In response to her son’s query, “Momma, Who is God?” first-time author S.A. Collins (wife of Chef Kenneth Collins) has written a children’s book, “God’s Love.” This work is the beginning of a series dedicated to sharing some basic spiritual principles with young children that transcend religious beliefs, but focus on The Higher Power—God, Allah, Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah,… Praise the Lord!


img_20161206_213357Deaconess Olive Elected Baptist Missionary Association President

Abyssinian’s Deaconess Chair Eleanor Olive (second from left) was recently installed as President of the Women’s Auxiliary for the United Missionary Baptist Association of Manhattan, the Bronx and Westchester County. Congratulations!




Deaconess Hines Lauded for Supplier Diversity Role

Deaconess Javette Hines received the Advocate of the Year Award at the New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council’s 2016 Partnership Awards Gala held earlier this month. She is Senior Vice President, Citi Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability Enterprise Supply Chain (ESC) at Citibank.

The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a supplier diversity professional at a regional or local corporate member company who has gone the extra mile to make a significant impact in the field of minority supplier development. This individual recognizes the importance of developing and nurturing partnerships with diverse suppliers and the potential for those relationships to drive change and foster inclusion. As a leader within their organization, this individual provides minority supplier development training to other managers, buyers and key procurement executives within their organization and demonstrates measurable progress/increase in their company’s spend with NMSDC-certified minority suppliers. Congratulations Deaconess Hines!

Rev. Butts Speaks at NMAAHC Opening Ceremony

Say it Loud: Our Pastor, Rev. Dr. Calvin Otis Butts, III was a featured speaker offering the invocation at the opening of The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, describing the structure as a monument to “people who have truly given their all to the United States of America.” View video.


rev-rashad-moore-ordination-oct16Rev. Moore Ordained at Abyssinian

Ordained: Abyssinian’s own Assistant Minister Rashad Raymond Moore was ordained during a glorious celebration at Abyssinian. Rev. Moore, who has been at Abyssinian since September 2012, was ordained by Abyssinian in collaboration with the United Missionary Baptist Association.

While he will remain at Abyssinian, Rev. Moore is pursuing his Ph.D at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Program in Philosophy and Education. At Abyssinian, he will assist in the ministry of preaching and teaching in addition to working closely to develop the efforts of the church’s various ministries.

The ordination sermon was preached by Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College. The sermon was: “The Glory of the Unrequired.”

Congratulations, Reverend Moore!


janinah-burnettBurnett Joins Cast of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera

Make a Joyful Noise! Abyssinian member Janinah Burnett, soprano, has joined the cast of the hit Broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera as the Innkeeper’s Wife.

Ms. Burnett is also the creator of “I, Too Sing America: An Artistic Lament for the Fallen,”  a musical tribute through ryhme, reason, song, and spoken word lifted to those who have fallen over the years due to the injustice of police brutality.





AbyssinianWEST Hits Two-Floor Funding Milestone

Turn on the Lights, Abyssinian! Abyssinian’s Go West project, AbyssinianWEST, hit another milestone as enough funds were raised though church member pledges and donations to pay for two floors of the building.

AbyssinianWEST project, to fund a $12 million, five-story education and community center adjacent to the church, is expected to be completed in late 2017. The church is seeking 100 percent member participation to fund the campaign.

All praises to our Lord, Beloved!


MARY 2-cropDeaconess OliveDeaconess Olive, Missionary Faulkner Lauded for Service

Well done, good and faithful servants! Let’s applaud Abyssinian’s Deaconess Chair, Eleanor Olive, and our Missionary member, Mary Faulkner, who were honored for outstanding service at the 121st Semi-Annual Session of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention in Albany, NY. Kudos, Beloved!



Kathy Card BeckelsKathryn Card Beckles Lauded by Metro Black Bar Association

Legal Eagle: Aby member Kathryn Card Beckles  has been honored as “Corporate Counsel of the Year” by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association for her work as General Counsel of Card Services for JP Morgan Chase and Company. She is a strong member of the church and works in the Nursery Ministry.

Make a joyful noise, Beloved!


Rev Calvin Butts-1Rev. Butts’ Oral History in Library of Congress

A video oral history interview of the Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, Abyssinian’s pastor, is now a permanent part of the HistoryMakers collection at the Library of Congress.

The HistoryMarkers archive provides first-person accounts of both well-known and unsung African-Americans, detailing their hopes, dreams and accomplishments. Comprising 2,600 videotaped interviews, it is believed to be the single largest archival collection of its kind in the world. It has a goal of completing 5,000 interviews and is designed to include the stories of individuals, African American organizations, events, movements and periods of time that are significant to the African American community.

To date, the oldest HistoryMaker is 105 years old; the youngest is 29 and the archive contains more than 8,000 hours of African American testimony on videotape. In addition to Rev. Butts, interviewees include Ralph AbernathyLani GuinierSimeon BookerAngela DavisOssie DavisLena HorneAndrew Young and then-Senator Barak Obama. Glory be to God, Beloved!


Witness: Two Hundred Years of African-American Faith and Practice in the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York

Celebrating 208 Years and Counting!

 “Witness: Two Hundred Years of African-American Faith and Practice at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York.” 

Read it again: “Witness” is a detailed history of our beloved church beginning with its formal organization in 1809 and continuing through its relocations, its famous senior pastors, and its many crises and triumphs, up to our 200th anniversary year in 2008.

In the book authors Genna Rae McNeil, Houston Bryan Roberson, Quinton Hosford Dixie, and Kevin McGruder have captured the rich legacy of Abyssinian, and explore the important role it played in the history of New York City. Includes photos and afterwords by Cornel West and Cheryl Townsend Gilkes.

As Abyssinian celebrates its 207th year and embarks on another phase of its history with AbyssinianWEST, pick up your copy of “Witness” for a second read–or a first!



Woman in Red with beansAby Fund Seeks US Outlets for Ethiopian Coffee

In celebration of our bicentennial, 165 members of The Abyssinian Baptist Church made a spiritual pilgrimage to our ancestral homeland of Ethiopia. As a result, the pilgrims founded the Abyssinian Fund, with the mission to reduce poverty in Ethiopia. The fund seeks to fulfill its mission by partnering with farming communities supplying training and equipment that allows them to produce  best coffee.

The Abyssinian Fund, along with David Robinson, the son of baseball legend, Jackie Robinson, is seeking to forge a deal where coffee beans grown in the Ethiopian village of Chaffee Jenette are distributed in retail outlets, restaurants and hotels throughout New York City and Harlem.

Please visit for the latest updates on the work of the Abyssinian Fund. (Congratulations to new AByFund Executive Director, the Rev. Itang Young!)