Abyssinian Baptist Church

Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York City

Abyssinian Baptist Church
3
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
One of the churches in Harlem where inspiring gospel music is an integral part of the sermon.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Harlem
As a hub of African American culture, Harlem has played a vital role in the history of New York City. Today, the neighbourhood is as vibrant as ever as new businesses and developments go up next to local institutions. The heart of the neighbourhood is bustling 125th Street, where street vendors and historic landmarks like the Apollo Theater mingle with big-name stores. Turn down almost any corner, and you’ll discover some of the most beautiful blocks in the city, filled with handsome brownstones, soul food restaurants, corner shops, and scenic parks. For a taste of a real New York neighbourhood, it’s hard to top a visit to Harlem.
How to get there
  • 135th St • 4 min walk
  • 135th St • 4 min walk
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
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2,839 within 5 kms
Attractions
200 within 5 kms
Popular mentions

3.0
274 reviews
Excellent
73
Very good
39
Average
26
Poor
24
Terrible
113

Lot100
2 contributions
A HOUSE OF GOD CONTAINING RACIST & UNKIND PEOPLE AN UPSETTING EXPERIENCE. NOT RECOMMENDED
Jan 2020
A HOUSE OF GOD CONTAINING RACIST & UNKIND PEOPLE
AN UPSETTING EXPERIENCE. NOT RECOMMENDED

'To win more souls for Christ through evangelism, pastoral care, Christian education, social service delivery, and community development'.

This is the Abyssinian Baptist Church’s mission statement, and I can confidently say that following my visit to this church with my 9 new old nephew, not only did they not 'win our souls', one of their members behaviour and words causes great upset.

My nephew and I arrived early on a Sunday for service and as regular church goers, we both were dressed in our ‘Sunday Best’. We were really keen to make sure we were able to go to the service and so we arrived an hour early. The weather that day was horrendous, the rain did not stop and we both stood outside in the rain patiently waiting to be let inside the building. A woman arrived at the door, who could clearly see that we were absolutely drenched, looked at us and walked back into the building. Twenty minutes later the women came back and opened the door and told us that we would not be able to come in today because it was ‘too busy’, despite being the only people waiting to go inside. The woman also said that my nephew could not come in, because he had a bag. He had a small bag with him, the size of my handbag, which was empty, as he wanted to put souvenirs into it, as we were going shopping after the service. I explained to the woman that the bag was empty and if necessary we could leave the bag outside. I could not believe what the woman then said in an angry and aggressive manor and in front of my nephew “It’s you white people killing us black people”. She then closed the door and went back inside leaving us once again standing outside in the pouring rain. A man then appeared delivering food into the building and by this point I became upset and teary, partly jet lagged and in shock as to why this woman would say these words to me and in such an aggressive angry way, as if I had just personally killed one of the congregation. It was so bizarre. I explained to the man delivering food to the building what had happened. I said I was so shocked as to what had been said and he replied, “I’m sure she didn’t mean what she said” and “not to worry” and patted my shoulder. My nephew was now saying ‘auntie let’s just go’ as he could see I was upset. I have visited many religious buildings around the world, and I have always been made to feel welcome. I was adamant that after my nephew and I had stood outside in the rain for over 30 minutes we would not just walk away. I left my nephews rucksack in a basement stairwell opposite the church and returned to the main door. The woman returned 10 minutes later, and I explained that we no longer had the bag and could we kindly be allowed to go to church. After being left outside for another 20 minutes we were finally allowed inside, drenched, cold and upset.

I do not fully understand the racism that exists in the USA because I have never been subjected to it, however I do understand racism is a major issue with police brutality and discrimination common place. The church according to its website, values its history as a Christian institution born out of rebellion against racial discrimination and its commitment to social justice for all. It also states that the church is a house of prayer for ALL people. Clearly some of its members need to refresh themselves of the church’s mission and values and consider whether their behaviour and values are aligned to the church that they belong to. ‘Being Christian’ is not about a name, but actions and how you treat people. Race and discrimination works both ways. If you truly care about helping the cause, do not be a hypocrite. Create unity not division. Create ‘all of us’ not ‘them and us’.
Written 10 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dexter Brian
Waldorf, MD2 contributions
If your coming for a Gospel show or a show your going to the wrong place!!!
May 2019
It's a church, not a tourist attraction, they do their best to accommodate people but the services are not for tourist and not part of a tour. If you are going for a show or just want to hear gospel music there are plenty of other places to go. If your going to worship and you are looking for a place to worship not gawk at people worshiping than dress appropriately and go worship. I see a lot of people are disappointed because they were turned away but you have to remember this is not a tour, people are here to commune and worship not be stared at by people looking to hear gospel music dressed in shorts t-shirts and sandals
Written 24 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joaquim M
Barcelona, Spain178 contributions
Not warmfull
Aug 2019
With angry words they forbite us the entry. I can understand, indeed! But with another behaviour, please!
Written 10 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EmJayBV
Highland Park, NJ486 contributions
Visit when in Harlem
Jan 2019 • Friends
As a historic site started by one of the country's first civil rights activists, it is well worth visiting. Definitely make this part of your walking tour of Harlem
Written 20 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lucyartist
North Vancouver, Canada33 contributions
Most gracious people and the good Reverend Butts outta this world
Dec 2018 • Solo
First NB this is NOT a tourist attraction. This is a working church. If you want gospel music, go download something to listen to at home. I work up very early one Christmas morning and took a taxi to arrive good and early but I had not idea that visitors were not allowed in on Christmas Day. An extremely gracious gentleman at the front desk listened to my plea. I had dressed up nicely. but was certainly not as elegant as many of the lovely ladies. I assured him I was not a lookie lo and would stay for the whole sermon and tried to allay his concerns. God bless him, he said he could not deny me entrance to the House of God. I have never ever heard such a rousing sermon as the good Reverend Butts delivered that day. WOW. Absolutely briliant. PS the choir was fine but restrained. THANK you to all the wonderful people that day and to the lovely older ladies whom I was sitting next to who welcomed me with big smiles.
Written 26 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

levornm
Chicago13 contributions
Sad Occasion
Dec 2017
I went to New York for the day only. Straight from the airport to church for funeral. The immediate family had not arrived to church and I was led to the family waiting room. Everyone was cordial and the event was uneventful.
Written 10 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Milena D
Sao Paulo, SP83 contributions
Amazing experience
Apr 2018 • Couples
"I Just believe in a God who dance". If God had a voice, It would be oficial the Chorus in this Church. We went to the service at wednesday evening and we were Very welcomed for this community. We feeled blessed for Jesus and these incredible voices.
Written 22 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kevin O
Brufut-Gambia115 contributions
WRONG CHURCH
Apr 2018 • Couples
Had a bad experience on this tour. I understand it is a church and they should have a dress code etc. The bouncer on the door was shouting out that anyone caught taking photos will be rejected. We wanted to hear gospel and get some information on it. We had 10 minutes of 1 repeating song then 50 minutes of sermon.
The expected $5 minimum collection per person is taken quickly enough.
They should do a gospel overview session at a fixed price with the info.
Give this a miss!
Written 21 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Debra P
New York City, NY4 contributions
My Church
Apr 2018 • Solo
I'm sorry that the guests from the UK were not treated graciously. Unfortunately, the church does not have an indoor waiting area. As a former Senior Lady Usher, I would like to believe that someone would have assisted your daughter to a more comfortable waiting location, had they known her condition. I would also like to apologize for the misconduct of any Abyssinian during your visit. That is NOT the spirit of Christ we try to practice and exemplify. I hope you visit us again.
Written 14 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rahni S
1 contribution
Historical Site that you can Access for Free on any Sunday Morning or Wednesday Evening
Dec 2017 • Solo
I am a member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. I go there most Sunday Mornings and most Wednesday Evenings for a less formal, more musical worship service.
I see that people are trying to sell packages and tours to go to this church when (1) you can go for /free/ and (2) paying [someone else] won't guarantee your entry into the church.
It's strange to see people complain about a church as if they are a paying customer at a restaurant. It's a shared, actually very intimate space with other worshipers. People come here to worship. Children are presented to the community here. People are Baptized in the pool and have very personal spiritual experiences here. It is a sacred place.
More stipulations have to be put on tourists for this reason, as many do not know the rules for respecting the sacred space. Also, there are /many/ tourists and we need to ensure that there is space for the worshipers to share.
Just know, you don't have to pay others to come to Abyssinia Baptist Church.
Written 26 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Abyssinian Baptist Church

Abyssinian Baptist Church is open:
  • Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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