Abyssinian Baptist Church

sights / Religious

Abyssinian Baptist Church information

New York City , USA
Address
Street 132 W 138th St btwn Adam Clayton Powell Jr & Malcolm X Blvds
Getting there
subway 2/3 to 135th St
More information
www.abyssinian.org
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Lonely Planet review

Founded by an Ethiopian businessman, the Abyssinian Baptist Church began as a downtown institution but moved north to Harlem in 1923, mirroring the migration of the city's black population. Its charismatic pastor, Calvin O Butts III, is an important community activist whose support is sought by politicians of all parties.

Sunday gospel services here are a raucous, soulful affair. This famed congregation is the number one spot for foreign travelers (hence the separate tourist seating section). It’s so popular, in fact, that you may not get in.

The church has a superb choir and the building is a beauty. If you plan on visiting with a group of 10 or more, call in advance to see if space is available.