African americans in yonkers
The Role of the Church
Spirituality and Religion is of great importance in the lives of African Americans in Yonkers. The church became a refuge, a community builder and a safe home for African Americans. Ironically African Americans embraced Christianity because it was the religion of their masters when they were slaves. During the times of slavery, they kept and still keep the church today as having a central role in their lives and community. In as early as 1861, the Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was founded followed by the Messiah Baptist Church in 1872. These two churches were known as the mother churches of Yonkers and both also still exist today. The Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion, however, has changed its name to Institutional A.M.E Zion and is now located on 42 Bishop William J. Walls Place in Yonkers. Members of this church are Zion Methodist who…
Church is and was a very important part of the lives of African Americans, especially during the time period where they were new to Yonkers and were in need of jobs and homes. The church not only served as a place for worship but it was also a support system. It was the foundation of community among African Americans. They were the first to form social events such as youth groups and even the first girl scouts group for young African American girls. Church ministers were major leaders in the black communities. They spoke up for their people and were looked up to as well. The community viewed ministers as their voice and trusted them to represent the community as a whole. White company owners with job offers that were open to African Americans (which were extremely rare during this period) would very often go to the church ministers. It was through the church ministers that the community was informed about what jobs were available to them and what homes they were allowed to move into.
 Institutional A.M.E. Zion Church, Accessed May 6, 2012. http://www.institutionalamez.org/.