'Mother church of Yonkers' in need of renovations

Posted: Updated:

Often called "the mother church of Yonkers," Messiah Baptist Church is now 146 years old -- and it's starting to show its age.

Pastor Frank Coleman says the church is in need of renovations so he is in the middle of a rebuilding capital campaign. The goal is to once again become a community resource for the city's less fortunate.

The Warburton Avenue church, which has applied for historic landmark designation, has seen its fair share of history. Civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., preached there in 1965. Yonkers native and Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige sang in the choir in the glory days. The church was also at the forefront of the desegregation lawsuit against Yonkers Public Schools.

75-year-old Doris Earl was an usher at the church when King visited 55 years ago.

The church will undergo massive renovations, but parts of it including the pulpit from which King preached and the chair he sat in will remain untouched.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."