Emmanuel Baptist Church Of Brooklyn New York* ‎– Centennial Album

Vogt Quality Recordings ‎– CSRV 2692
Vinyl, LP, Album



An album of Church Choir Music with Piano, Organ and occasional Flute accompaniment Commemorating the One-Hundredth Anniversary of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York which was / is located at 279 Lafayette Avenue.


Add Review



October 1, 2011

Credited in the liner notes of this LP is Fred Jackson who MAY be the obscure Jazz Flautist / Saxophonist who recorded for Blue Note, as this album contains some Flute playing, but this is not confirmed. His story is that he did indeed disappear from the Jazz Scene in the 1960s, so maybe he kept up the flute, but at this church instead of Jazz Clubs and Studios?

The Emmanuel Baptist Church at 279 Lafayette Avenue in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn, NY was/is said to have one of New York's most spectacular church interiors, with a mixture of stained glass, wood and elaborate stencilwork. Over the years the congregation has changed over from white to predominantly black, and has restored its interior with an African feel.

The Emmanuel Baptist Church was founded in 1881 as an offshoot of Washington Avenue Baptist Church, which was located at Washington and Gates Avenues. The minister there was a novelist named Emory J. Haynes who had converted in 1877 from Methodist Episcopal denomination and one of his books included an antimonopoly satire, which offended an important member of the congregation named Charles Pratt, who had made millions in his own lighting-oil business as a partner in John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company. Pratt was a quiet but important figure in Brooklyn charities & along with 180 other parishioners he withdrew to build a new church on a big corner plot at Lafayette Avenue and St. James Place - across from Adelphi Academy - and the church was then called the ''Standard Oil Church'' or ''Astral Church'' since Pratt's best known product was Astral Oil and was designed by Francis H. Kimball who built an archaeologically correct rendition of the early French Gothic style. The 900-seat interior is what is special about this church, with a high, square sanctuary with a long vaulted roof over wide galleries, the whole space almost completely intact from 1887 featuring wall decorations designed by William H. Day and there are two huge brownstone columns support the gallery, but otherwise the inside is an expanse of dark woodwork, stained glass and intricate wall stenciling.

Founder Pratt died in 1881, but the church remained fairly healthy through the Depression, and when the First Williamsburg and Marcy Ave. Baptist churches closed, they merged into Emmanuel. Blacks became members in increasing numbers in the 1940's and in 1975 Dr. H. Edward Whittaker became Emmanuel's first black minister and added spirituals & gospel music to the regular service. In 1981 the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the church as part of the Clinton Hill Historic District, calling it ''perhaps the finest surviving 19th Century Church interior in New York City'' but only the exterior is landmarked and the church interior has undergone renovations that reflect African American Heritage and the congregation is now under The Reverend Anthony L Trufant.

(Historical Information from Emmanuel's website)