the place to


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


First Lady Patricia Butts Honored

Our Health Advocate: The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), a national non-profit dedicated to promoting prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in high-risk minority populations recently honored Abyssinian First Lady, Mrs. Patricia Butts, for her significant work in health advocacy at its 8th Annual Spirit of the Heart Awards Gala. Praise the Lord!


Reverend Bachus Weds

Two Become One: Congratulations to Abyssinian’s Assistant Pastor, Reverend Reginald Lee Bachus and his new bride, Brittany Kess, who were recently wed at Abyssinian! Our Pastor, the Revered Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III officiated. Praise the Lord!



Deaconess Olive Addresses Missionary Baptist Association

Sister in Christ: Deaconess Eleanor E. Olive (center in photo), Chair of Abyssinian’s Deaconess Board recently gave her inaugural Annual Address/Report as President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the United Missionary Baptist Association of New York and Vicinity at the United Missionary Baptist Association Annual Session at Mount Neboh Baptist Church. Dr. Butts was a guest preacher at the event. Kudos!


Baritone Justin Austin Performs at Carnegie Hall

Justin Sings: The Council of New York Area Branch Presidents of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. presented Abyssinian choir member, Justin Austin, with pianist Damien Sneed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Make a joyful noise!


Fashion Pioneer Bernadette Thompson featured in MoMA Exhibit

Art Imitates Life: Abyssinian member, Bernadette Thompson, has been a pioneer in the fashion and beauty industries for 25 years, working with A-list celebrities and top fashion houses around the world. Beginning in October 2017 through January 28, 2018, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will showcase Ms. Thompson’s acclaimed Nail Art in an exhibition titled, “Is Fashion Modern? – 111 Businesses that Influenced the 20th and 21st Centuries.” 

In recognition of Ms. Thompson as the first African-American woman to create a line of nail care products in the US, MoMA will sell The Bernadette Thompson Collection in all six of its stores from New York to Japan ( Bernadette will donate 5% of global sales to AbyWest for the entire length of MoMA’s exhibit. Following the exhibit’s run, Bernadette launches her first chain of luxury “Members Only” Nail Salons, (, and she will donate 5% of membership sales to Abyssinian’s affiliate, Blue Nile Passage, Inc.


Judge Perry Earns Ballot Spot in November

Here Comes the Judge! Abyssinian member and New York State Supreme Court Justice W. Franc Perry, III is a candidate for reelection in November. Judge Perry, who presides in the State Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, was appointed as an Acting Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York in 2015. Make your vote count!


Michael Deas Lauded as a Bronx Influencer

Big Man on Campus: Abyssinian Member Michael Deas was recently featured in City and State New York magazine as one of “25 Bronx Influencers You Need To Know.”Deas is Director of the Urban Male Leadership Program at Lehman College, which focuses on increasing the number of Latino and black males in higher education by helping first-year and transfer students adjust to their new surroundings and thrive in the


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!



Rev. Butts Featured Speaker 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.) Since the museum opened in September 2016, more than 1.9 million people have visited and viewed its exhibitions.


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.

The AbyssinianWEST project, to the church’s initiative to fund a $12 million, five-story education and community center adjacent to the church. We are  seeking 100 percent member participation to fund the campaign.

All praises to our Lord, 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!)