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The Abyssinian Baptist Church

Religious (Places of Worship), Churches


The Abyssinian Baptist Church is among the most famous of the many prominent and activist churches in the Harlem section of New York City. The church was an important site for religious music in the Harlem Renaissance. It remains a center of the Harlem gospel tradition. Fats Waller's father was once minister at the church.[3] Among many important events, the church conducted the wedding of Nat King Cole and his bride Maria; and the funeral of "The Father of Blues", W.C. Handy, in 1958.

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76 Reviews

76 Reviews


This Is The Most Beautiful & Well Known Baptist Church In Harlem,

Or For That Matter, Manhattan !!

Its Even More Famous, Since Soul Food Queen, Sylvia Woods Wake &

Funeral Were Held Here !!




a spiritual and cultural experience not to be missed....


I was there at winter 2005, warm welcome for us the only two Asian, and the hymn singing is amazing.


Replace the picture of the woman (?) with a picture of the church.


This Church was founded in 1808 It is one of the oldest Churches in NYC. The presiding Pastor is a Great ortator and wonderful person. I was delighted to visit this church with such a perstigious history. I really enjoyed my visit and will vist again


the best people and good brothers for the brasilian turists


The church personnel is disrespectful.


Thanking God for 207 years of Religious History..


They won't accept visitors anymore and send you to another church without gospel, a 20 minutes service just full of tourists. Not authentic at all. Very poor experience.


Beautiful church and an interesting experience.


Always be after service with different churches


an incredible gospel place. go to the wednesday office at 7:00 PM, more intimate and reeally great!


I recommend


Sehr schöner Gospel-Gottesdienst. Die Kirche war leicht zu finden. Allerdings wurde hier sehr auf die Einhaltung von Regeln der Kirche geachtet: z.B. angemessene Kleidung, keine Foto-/ oder Tonaufnahmen, keine Rucksäcke und dergleichen. Ich hatte nicht den Eindruck, dass hier kein Auge zugedrückt wird, wenn diese Regeln von Touristen nicht eingehalten werden. Rucksäcke wurden vor der Kirche deponiert. Während des gesamten Gottesdienstes sitzen Touristen/Besucher auf einem Balkon und sind unter ständiger Beobachtung der "Messdiener". Nicht zu vergleichen mit Gottesdiensten in Deutschland. Spenden sind erbeten. Unser Gottesdienst dauerte ungefährt 140 Minuten. Ich spendete 2 x 5 $ und 2 x 1 $.


Bellissima messa ,voci eccezionali


Una de las iglesias protestantes con coro de gospel más importantes de New York, bastante bien comunicada con el metro. Tienen una organización muy estricta con los turistas pero la ceremonia religiosa es altamente recomendable. Es conveniente llegar unos 90 minutos antes de la celebración. Y alerta si lleváis mochilas porque no las dejan entrar, aunque te las custodian por $10 mientras estás dentro.


My church home: watch night service singing in the choir is always a bonus


It's a wonderful place to worship God.


My Church Home, Marvelous Services and wonderful choir.


I just started going to Abyssinian & this is my 5th Sunday attending. I'm loving each & very Sunday it's like I'm hungry for the word & blessings.


Fabulous experience.


These people are raicist. They are crooks.

All the parishioners drive brand new luxury vehicles and double park blocking The streets. No one ever want to come and move. They don't let white people in unless they "buy a ticket"

The pastor preached in a sermon that call cops are Pigs....

This isn't a church,it's a house of hate and entitlement


An historical African American Church with Rev. Calvin Butts


Re: Helios' hateful review. Racist????? OMG what a ridiculous accusation. They absolutely let people in from all over the world and all over the country regardless of race. and without paying. The service is a marvelous experience for Baptists, Jews, Agnostics, whatever. If you don't find this experience uplifting, then you have to look to yourself.

The church and congregation are well aware that many, many people want to attend and there are often not enough capacity. They stream on line as well. If you cannot get in here, Marble Collegiate has a great service as well. Also, streamed on line. Not the massive choir of ABC, but very well done.

Email ahead to the church to arrange groups attending from out of town. They are warm and accomodating and no, I am not Baptist or a member of any church.


Me and wife visit and assist to the service last Sunday morning.

For us, coming as tourists from Portugal, it was a splendid, fabulous and spiritual experience.

Impressive the rituals and the speech.

Inclusive for people from all over the World.

To repeat in a new visit to NYC.



I visit this church each time I visit NewYork and I never tire of it. It always leaves me wanting more. The leader, Dr. Calvin Butts, is an excellent speaker and visionary. God bless you Abyssinian, so full of History and good works. “Long live Abyssinian!”

Long live XXAbyssian”m. livlivelivr Abyssinian


One of the reasons why I enjoyed the service at Abyssinian Baptist Church is the commitment that Rev.Calvin Butts 3rd. & assistant pastor Rev. Reginald Bacchus have for saving Souls...AMEN


Amazingly historic. Beutifully restored!!


Arrived today for the 11:30 mass which is the one that tourist are allowed to visit (according to their website) but when arriving there , there was a sister from another ministry informing us that Abyssinian church is not receiving any tourist for the whole month of August (2018)

so now you know


I came from Ireland to spend a couple of days in Harlem, NY, and have been waiting for this moment a long time ago. I am passionate about gospel and came here to get some answers. This Sunday, I was walking down the 138th street at 10am. Despite the rain, a lot of cars were parking, people were happy and smiling at each other, there was a good energy around the entrance of the church. As I came closer to the entrance, everyone was looking at me like they didn’t understand what I was doing here. I felt I wasn’t welcome, so I’ve crossed the street to admire the church a moment, and quickly had a look at my phone. Suddenly a young lady asked me to step back with a hand gesture, and she insisted for me to go away (I was just waiting next to a car). I was surprised, so I immediately stepped back, but then I decided to go back to the entrance again. Then I saw a european couple trying to come in as well, so I tried to get in with them, but they were immediately denied. As I do not see any valuable reasons why, as a Christian, I was denied from one of the best Churches in Harlem, I assume my skin was too pale and my clothes too casual for them. I would have appreciated if someone took the time to talk/got to know me or at least gave me some insights/reasons why, by seeing me 10 metres away from the entrance, they knew straight away they wouldn’t let me in.


Nice church and people. Tourists are very welcome.


This church is absolutely beautiful, inside and out!


A NYC classic! Always a fantastic choir with an unbelievable range of music


Great community church.


Wonderful , informative , uplifting.



It's my church home for over 19 years. I've grown tremendously in this space and love the support, fellowship and family.


A beautiful House of Worship.


You will always leave with a message from God and the choir will take you there.


This is an amazing church! I was not going there for service, but to present to the members about a volunteer opportunity with my volunteer supervisor.

You go into the place and you are just overwhelmed with the feeling of peace - it is really a wonderful place. The congregation family are so friendly and welcoming. If I lived in that area, I would definitely be attending that church.

One thing I really appreciated was the fact that they start on time - once the Pastor is speaking, no one is allowed in to disrupt.

NOTE: If there is a man out front when you arrive with a crown on his head - please ignore him. He is not a member and he usually is soliciting money.


It's an experience that you just have to see for yourself. Take note of the church's rules and dress code. I did that and ended up sharing the same worship space with Paul McCartney...


I Love attending service here! The Minister always gives the right message for my soul. The choir is second to none!


Great service! Enjoyed and was honored to celebrate my Great Aunt Ann 90th birthday!!


It's one of the most historic Black churches in the country with a Pastor that is one of the most outspoken preachers in America.


I love attending Abyssinian Baptist Church whenever I can. The services are always high, the Holy Spirit is always present and the music ministers to my heart. I listen intently to sermons proffered by the ministerial staff and the church is welcoming. I also attend their Monday Bible study and have learned a lot. I think the pastor, Dr. Butts, is a good leader in the Harlem community. This being said, is from my humble perspective.


I think it just became a show.

We study theology, We arrived Wednesday at 7pm to see the ceremony and how different is the way of addressing to God. A gentleman outside the church tells us that we cannot enter because the ceremony is private. I do not believe that God must be 'private', the doors must always be open to everyone


What a thrill! So very happy I finally got a chance to see this great church for myself. Not a basilica but sure feels like one.


Great church, singing was a blessing, preaching was anointed. Visited on June 2, the preaching was a blessing. Thumbs up to the preacher.just wasnt sure if it was only men who sang on the choir or if it was just for that day. Loved the service




It's a wonderful place of worship. To sit in the essence great history , and ascended and present royalty is almost overwhelming!


It was a great experience to worship among such great, honorable and influential group of people. I was very honored to be there.


Was looking for a church to start attending. And seen Abyssinian Baptist Church i went here as a child for many years with my father and sisters. Wow i had good memories there.


Great place to worship. The whole church atmosphere is awesome. The living Word of God spoken here


Last year my wife Sherma Andrews performed at Cultural Day at the church. We were invited by the dynamic Pastor Miller to attend. Everyone made us feel so welcome. It was a fantastic experience! Looking forward to going back again this year.


I grew up in this church as a kid. This was my grandparents church as well as my aunt Betty Wendler. I suggest this beautiful church to all who are seeking to find God and a spiritual home.


Empowering service and heard the wonderful words of Rev. DR. Calvin Burney Jr.Originally from Jacksonville Florida shared tremendous words! Him and his wife opened up a school in Ohio and have elevated the children of that community.I appreciate being invited by my AAS Professor,Michael Deas.


As always Abyssinian Baptist Church is the place where you can fill comfortable, even is you are not a religious person.

Today the humble pastor give a beautiful message about the meaning of the Christmas lights.

Thanks Rev. Buts for yours words.


The Abyssinian Baptist Church, located at 132 West 138th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was built in 1922–23 and was designed by Charles W. Bolton & Son in Gothic Revival and Tudor Revival styles – it has also been described as "Collegiate Gothic"] It features stained glass windows and marble furnishings.

During the 20th century, prominent ministers of the church included Adam Clayton Powell Sr. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.] Over the years, the church has served as a place for African American spirituality, politics and community. The Abyssinian Baptist Church congregation traces its history to 1809, when seamen from the Ethiopian Empire (then known as Abyssinia) helped lead a protest against segregated church seating. It worshiped in several places before building the present church structure.

The church and its associated community house were designated a New York City Landmark on July 13, 1993.


I held my Blue Nile Rights of Passage mentor-mentee matching ceremony here. Overall beautiful place and great experience!


The Pulpit was the place where social, economic & political issues facing Our Community were discussed. Glad to 👀 & 👂 IT is HAPPENING here


Great looking old historical black church in Harlem with a wonderful church service. Sermon was excellent and so was the choir.


I feel so enriched and connected after a sermon. The choir is amazing, the organist, pianist, and choir director are phenomenal. The Ministers are also really great. Many times I feel like I’ve left a great concert.


This church is amazing! The spirit of the Lord is definitely here. I joined the church in 2018 and I’m so glad I did. If you haven’t been please stop by. We would love to have you.


Outstanding and very relevant sermon today, August 30, 2020. Many blessings.


Love the membership. Now you watch the 10AM service on line on the church website and on You tube.

Matthew H.



Rude employees! I live on the same street as the church and one of their employees told me I wasn't allowed to stand on the sidewalk in front of the this and 11 more

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