Hard times for Harlem churches - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-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>>

  • Another video shows NYPD cop putting man in choke hold

    Another video shows NYPD cop putting man in choke hold

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:08:13 GMT
    The NYPD is investigating another apparent choke-hold incident during a recent arrest that was captured on video. The video shows a police officer putting a man in a choke hold and then punching him in the face in a subway station in Harlem, police said. A community activist said he received the new video but never had any intention of releasing it to the media.
    The NYPD is investigating another apparent choke-hold incident during a recent arrest that was captured on video. The video shows a police officer putting a man in a choke hold and then punching him in the face in a subway station in Harlem, police said. A community activist said he received the new video but never had any intention of releasing it to the media.
  • Some StubHub accounts breached

    Some StubHub accounts breached

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:34:20 GMT
    Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that managed to take over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently buy tickets to such prime events as Jay-Z and Elton John concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game and Broadway shows like "The Book of Mormon," the Manhattan district attorney said. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the thieves would then resell the tickets and split up the proceeds.
    Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that managed to take over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently buy tickets to such prime events as Jay-Z and Elton John concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game and Broadway shows like "The Book of Mormon," the Manhattan district attorney said. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the thieves would then resell the tickets and split up the proceeds.
  • Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:12:27 GMT
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

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