Brooklyn's Notable Features and Attractions: Churches Part I



The stranger who visits Brooklyn for the first time is naturally anxious to know where are located the many points of interest in and about the city and how they may be most easily reached by public conveyance. Brooklyn has become famous as the City of Churches; it is known to possess some of the most beautiful parks on the continent and it is noted as the home borough of the Greater New York. Who has not heard of Greenwood Cemetery, the beautiful city of the dead, where many of the great men of the nation rest?

Full of historical and interesting associations, offering attractions to the pleasure seeker and the lover of the beautiful in nature and art which few cities, even those of larger size, can boast, Brooklyn is not known, even among many of those who live within her borders, as she should be.

The following is an attempt to describe some of her most notable features and attractions and to direct the unknowing to them, taking the Brooklyn Bridge as a starting point. With a very few exceptions every point in Brooklyn may be reached by trolley or elevated railroad line for the sum of 5 cents.

Brooklyn's Churches

The religious spirit has always been dominant in Brooklyn and this is evidenced by the church spires which rise as landmarks on every hand. All denominations are represented here and visitors of every creed may find places of worship.

At the corner of Henry and Remsen streets is the Church of the Pilgrims, of which the Rev. Dr. Richard S. Storrs is pastor. This church is three years older than Plymouth, having been organized in 1844, and the Rev. Dr. Storrs has served continuously in the pastorate since the beginning. Dr. Storrs is regarded as one of the most learned and eloquent preachers in the world. During the many years of his pastorate he has suffered but few days' illness and his powers of mind are as vigorous, apparently, as when he assumed charge of the church. The fame of Dr. Storrs is world wide, and his church is one of the first sought by strangers in the city. It is a grand structure built of stone, with a tower at one corner. From the front of the building juts a piece of the old Plymouth Rock upon which the Mayflower pilgrims landed in 1620. The Court street cars take visitors to Remsen street, which is within two blocks of the church.

The eloquence of Henry Ward Beecher which has been continued under his two successors, has made Plymouth Congregational Church well known among Brooklyn's houses of worship. Plymouth Church is situated on Orange street, a few blocks from the bridge entrance. it is the same barn like structure of brick that was erected fifty years ago and the interior is as severely plain as the exterior. A reading desk made of wood from the Mount of Olives is the most notable curiosity in the pulpit. Though he has been but a short time with Plymouth Church the Rev. Dr. Hillis gives assurance that the best traditions of Plymouth will be maintained. The church is filled at every service just as in the days of Beecher and Abbott, and Dr. Hillis' sermons are as widely read and quoted as those of his famous predecessors.

In the near vicinity is the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity. It is the leading Episcopal church on Long Island. Two of its rectors have been the Rev. Dr. A. N. Littlejohn and Charles H. Hall. Its rector is now the Rev. Dr. McConnell, a man of logic, sincerity, courage and power. A few blocks further, at Clinton and Livingston streets, is St. Ann's Protestant Episcopal Church. The Rev. Reese F. Alsop, another eloquent preacher, is rector. St. Ann's has always been noted for the excellence of its choir and musical services, and for its chimes, which are always heard on Sundays and special church days.

One of the smallest but most famous Churches in Brooklyn is the Second Unitarian Church, at the corner of Clinton and Congress street, of which the Rev. Dr. John W. Chadwick has for many years been pastor. Dr. Chadwick's sermons are circulated in every part of the United States, and his teachings are regarded by Unitarians as standard expositions of that belief. Dr. Chadwick has written some fine poetry and is regarded as a prominent figure in American literature. This church is reached by the Court Street cars to Congress street. It is situated one block west of Court street.

The Rev. Charles Cuthbert Hall made the First Presbyterian Church famous by his eloquence and in the Rev. L. Mason Clarke the church found a worthy and able successor to Dr. Hall. This church is situated at Clark and Henry streets and is one of the city's landmarks. It is within a few minutes' walk of the bridge.

Another Heights church to which visitors usually ask to be directed is the Reformed Church on the Heights, in Pierrepont street, near Monroe place. The Rev. J. Douglas Adam is now pastor of this church and during the few years of his pastorate he has won an enviable reputation as one of Brooklyn's leading clergymen.

The Baptist Temple, at the corner of Schermerhorn street and Third avenue, under the ministration of the Rev. Cortland Myers, has attained prosperity and popularity with in a few years. Mr. Myers is one of Brooklyn's youngest clergymen and one of the most energetic. He has a way of prefacing his sermons with a prelude touching upon current topics which he discusses vigorously and in a manner of his own. In these preludes he frequently attacks abuses which he believes should be corrected and he always speaks with a freedom that sometimes shocks the more sedate of his hearers. Mr. Myers believes in making his church services attractive and entertaining and has organized one of the largest and best mixed choirs in the country. The musical programmes are always elaborate and his efforts to attract visitors are rewarded by crowded churches at every service. The Third avenue trolley cars carry visitors to the very door of the Temple, which is within fifteen minutes' ride of the bridge.

Within sight of the Temple is the Hanson Place Methodist Episcopal Church, the largest church building of that denomination in Brooklyn. The Hanson Place Church is one of the pastorates most coveted by clergymen of the Methodist denomination and it has numbered among its pastors some of the most famous preachers in the United States. The Rev. Dr. George Reed, the Rev. Dr. Bulkley, the Rev. Dr. Peck are among those who have been connected with this church. The present pastor is the Rev. Dr. C.L. Goodell. Flatbush avenue trolley cars take visitors within half a block of this church.

The Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, of which the Rev. Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler was many years pastor, is at the corner of Lafayette avenue and South Oxford street. The Rev. Dr. David Gregg is now pastor and his eloquence has kept the membership up to the standard attained by his illustrious predecessor. Dr. Gregg has a peculiar style of delivery, enunciating each syllable as though it were a complete word and in a voice that is heard distinctly in every part of the church. The music in this church is of a high order and special musical services are often held there. The Rev. Dr. Cuyler, who is still strong and vigorous, frequently fills the pulpit which he made famous and is always present on gala occasions. Soon after his appointment to the pastorate of this church Dr. Gregg had the belfry fitted up for a study and there he may be found almost every day, reading, or writing his sermon. A few years ago the church was decorated with a large memorial window in memory of Dr. Cuyler and as a recognition of his long services to the church. This window is in the front of the church and sheds a softened light upon the congregation within. All Fulton street and DeKalb avenue cars run within a block of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brooklyn's Notable Features and Attractions: Churches Part I
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle June 18, 1899
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