Hard times for Harlem churches - KMSP-TV

Hard times for Harlem churches

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Churches are the backbone of the African-American community in Harlem and around the country. But as the economy and real estate market change, so do the challenges they face.

The Arc choir conducts a biweekly hour of power for members and welcomes tour groups that pay per person to attend. It helps to fund the church and its rehabilitation programs. Other Harlem churches are also doing it to help meet rising costs at a time when the tithing membership is aging out or moving out because of rising rents, and the Harlem newcomers are not joining in.

But the historic Olivet Church on Lenox Avenue does not charge anyone to come inside. Rev. Dr. Charles Curtis says his doors are open equally to everyone.

While some in the congregation may find the presence of paying spectators uncomfortable, it's just one method to make ends meet.

Daniel Geiger of Crain's New York Business said there are other options. He pointed out that the Bethel Gospel Assembly Church sold unused land it owned and air rights to a developer to ensure its financial future.

Some long-established Harlem churches have struggled but are finding new ways to broaden their membership and still maintain their mission.

At Mt. Olivet, Princeton-educated pastor Curtis said the church has eliminated all debt and managed to raise the money for more than $1 million in major repairs over the last decade. He admitted it has been a challenge, but said the church is resilience and is adapting.

In this time of uncertainty, Pastor Curtis said one thing you can count on is the commitment these churches have to serving the community.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Bratton: Islamic State group threat expanding

    Bratton: Islamic State group threat expanding

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:43:17 GMT
    New York City has entered a "new era" of potential terror threats as hostilities between the United States and extremists from the Islamic State group intensify, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Tuesday. Bratton told reporters that there is no current information pointing to a specific threat against the city.
    New York City has entered a "new era" of potential terror threats as hostilities between the United States and extremists from the Islamic State group intensify, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Tuesday. Bratton told reporters that there is no current information pointing to a specific threat against the city.
  • High-fiving strangers in NYC

    High-fiving strangers in NYC

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:01:29 GMT
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
    Looking for a taxi cab is a common sight in the city. For some people, an outstretched arm is usually the sign for hailing a cab. A few other folks see it as something else.Meet Meir Kalmanson. He sees a hand in the air as an opportunity to lighten up a person's serious or frantic state. Meir decided to high-five his way down Fifth Avenue. The video of his rebellion of social norms has gone viral.
  • Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Empire State Building Facebook review controversy

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:52:40 GMT
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
    When it comes to visiting New York City landmarks, half the fun is reviewing them afterward on social media sites like Facebook. But some folks say the Empire State Building is reporting their reviews as spam.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices