History of Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Church


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The first service of the Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Mission was held on April 28, 1906, in the parlor of the McNeil family home, 353 Hawthorne Street. In December of that year, a lot at 331 Hawthorne Street, was obtained for the purpose of erecting a church building. Unfortunately, more funds had been expended on the purchase of the lot than planned, and little money was left for construction. 

Consequently, a unique compromise was reached. The congregation constructed the basement or crypt, erected a roof over it and temporarily finished the interior to serve as worship space until finances necessary for the erection of the edifice they envisioned would be available. The space seated approximately two hundred persons. The basement Church, which served the people of Saint. Gabriel’s for over eighty years, was eventually rebuilt in 1991.

Like the congregation of the early twentieth century, the present congregation is in large part made up of immigrants. Unlike the earlier congregants who came mostly from Europe, those now attending come mostly from the Caribbean, Central and South America, West Africa, and the United States.

Today, God’s work is carried on in a new spacious structure with ample worship and activities space, sufficient to support the numerous activities of the Church, including a Senior Center funded by the New York City Department for the Aging.

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