2023 Cohort

Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist

(Methodist)

New York, New York

The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in New York houses one of the city’s largest emergency food pantries and provides a range of essential services and support to community members, migrants, and asylum-seekers.  

St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC by Jade Doskow

St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC by Jade Doskow

2023 Cohort

Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist

(Methodist)

New York, New York

The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in New York houses one of the city’s largest emergency food pantries and provides a range of essential services and support to community members, migrants, and asylum-seekers.  

Built in 1897, the design of St. Paul and St. Andrew (SPSA) is influenced by Romanesque Revival, Classical, and Renaissance-inspired styles. In the 1970’s, after demographic shifts in the neighborhood left behind a dwindling congregation, SPSA members wanted to demolish their historic church building, viewing the aging structure as a burden, and filed a lawsuit opposing local historic designation.   Fought against local landmarking of their church building, viewing the aging structure as a burden. SPSA petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to ban landmarking of houses of worship as an infringement of First Amendment religious freedom protections, but the court declined to hear the case. As the congregation has grown and expanded their partnerships and community service, members now see their building as a major asset and have become vocal advocates for its preservation.  

Today SPSA has strong ties to its community, focusing its resources on supporting lower income residents, undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers, and other marginalized groups. The church houses the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, started by SPSA 40 years ago and now one of New York City’s largest emergency food pantries, as well as programs providing services for adults with mental illness, English language classes, tutoring for neighborhood children, and legal, medical, and educational resources for migrants.  

A National Fund grant of $250,000 with matching funds of at least $500,000 will support urgent exterior repairs including replacement of a portion of the Spanish tile roof to prevent water infiltration into the building. 

St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC by Jade Doskow

Spotlighting Women’s History at Historic Houses of Worship

Religious institutions have served both as a platform for the advancement of women’s rights and opportunities, and women have played critical roles in advancing religious traditions. The leadership and community building opportunities within these sacred sites have been critical to increasing female independence outside of the home and allowing women to develop institutions that strengthen their congregations and broader communities. The four historic houses of worship highlighted embody positive examples of how the histories of women and religion are inherently linked.

First Church in Oberlin

Stories and Media Coverage

Read more about how the National Fund for Sacred Places is helping congregations around the country rehabilitate their sacred places.

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church by Luis P. Gutierrez