Broadway United Church of Christ
Finney's Broadway Tabernacle
The original Broadway Tabernacle, now known as Broadway United Church of Christ , was founded as the Second Free Presbyterian Church, organized in 1832 by Lewis Tappan for Charles Grandison Finney, a famous evangelist / revivalist from western New York. It was founded on Chatham Street (Manhattan) in lower Manhattan, New York City, in the former Chatham Theatre (built 1824), which became known as the Chatham Street Chapel (New York City) This first chapel was abandoned and shortly thereafter demolished in 1836 for the purpose-built Broadway Tabernacle, which was erected in 1836. The Broadway Tabernacle was located at 340-344 Broadway, between Worth and Catherine Lane, and was considered one of the most influential churches constructed in America. Finney influenced the design; it held 2,400 people. Then a Presbyterian church, it was founded as a center of anti-slavery spirit in New York City. Finney left the church to join the Oberlin College’s Theology Department in April 1837 and the Tabernacle building was demolished in 1856.
The church founded a newspaper, The Independent, an anti-slavery paper that had a circulation of 15,000, which helped to spread the renown of Emily Dickinson by publishing her poems. By 1857, the church accepted an offer by the Erie Railroad to purchase its original building, and moved uptown to 34th Street and 6th Avenue. The new building was designed by Leopold Eidlitz.
In 1892, the address was listed at 582 6th Avenue; it was informally called "Rev. Dr. Taylor's Broadway Tabernacle" at that time.
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- Loveland, etc., From Meetinghouse to Megachurch, p.27.
- Review in The New York Evangelist quoted in Keith J. Hardman, Charles Grandison Finney, 1792-1875: Revivalist and Reformer (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987), p.252.
- Nathan Silver, Lost New York, (New York: Weathervane Books, 1967), p.46
- J. Russiello, A Sympathetic Planning Hierarchy for Redundant Churches: A Comparison of Continued Use and Reuse in Denmark, England and the United States of America (MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings, University of Bath, 2008), p.217.
- Nathan Silver, Lost New York, (New York: Weathervane Books, 1967), p.76.
- Kathryn E. Holliday, Leopold Eidlitz: Architecture and Idealism in the Gilded Age (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2008), p.171
- The World Almanac 1892 and Book of Facts (New York: Press Publishing, 1892), p.390.