Atlah Worldwide Church

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ATLAH Worldwide Church
ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church
Location 38 West 123rd Street
Harlem, New York, NY, 10027
Country  United States
Denomination Independent
Previous denomination Baptist
Membership 600 (2007) [1]
100 (2011) estimated [2]
Former name(s) Bethelite Community Baptist Church
Founded June 10, 1957 (1957-06-10)
Founder(s) Millard Alexander Stanley
Events Mother Keturah Breakfast Program
[3] C.I.A. Columbia Obama Sedition And Treason Trial 2010 [4]
"No Dew! No Rain!" [1]
Designated 1888-89
Architect(s) Lamb & Rich[5]
Architectural type Club
Style Queen Anne
Materials red brick and terra cotta
Senior pastor(s) James David Manning

ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church (formerly Bethelite Missionary Baptist Church) is a highly controversial Christian church and ministry located in Harlem, New York. James David Manning is the chief pastor.[6] The church campus is the site of the unaccredited ATLAH Theological Seminary, where classes are offered on preaching and prophecy.[7] The church also has a studio that Manning uses for his Internet radio program The Manning Report.[8][9]


The church was founded and organized in Harlem on June 6, 1957, by Reverend Millard Alexander Stanley as the Bethelite Community Baptist Church.[6]

In early June, just a few days before the first worship service was held, Pastor Stanley was sitting in front of a storefront on 8th Avenue in Harlem. A local heroin addict spoke to him and said, "If y’all gonna be a church, you better 'Be-The-Lite.'" Thus, the mission was formed and named Bethelite.[6]

In 1981, Pastor James David Manning replaced Stanley as chief pastor. Under Manning's leadership, the church name changed to ATLAH ("All The Land Anointed Holy"), and ministries were established.[10]

Newest Ministries – The Temple Hour of Prayer 29 May 2008; and The Manning Report 25 August 2008.[10]

  • ATLAH Men’s Business Association: Men’s group established in 2003.
  • ATLAH Superior: Started as a group of 70 women in 2003 for the establishment of a specialty food service supermarket in New York.
  • ATLAH Theological Seminary: Established in 1994 as an adult-education, Bible, business, and social studies institution.
  • ATLAH World Ministries: Established in 1992 as a half-hour Christian teaching radio, expanded to a weekly TV broadcast heard on several networks, and currently on YouTube and several other venues.
  • Great Tomorrows Elementary/Middle School and ATLAH High School: The school was established in 1994 for the purpose of educating young people from elementary to high school focused upon a private Christian education founded on the M.A.D. Curriculum.

This building was erected in the 1890s as the Harlem Social Club. Father Divine (c.1876-1965) and his International Peace Mission Movement were located here during the 1930s.[11]

ATLAH Worldwide Church in the center of view from the northwest corner of 124th Street looking Southward....
ATLAH Worldwide Church seen from the corner of West 124th street and Lenox Avenue, Harlem.

Controversy and foreclosure[edit]

The messages on the church letter board used anti-gay epithets and stated a Christian imperative to kill gay people by stoning. They gained notice on several websites, including some that promote gay rights and oppose hate speech.[12]

In early 2014, the church posted a series of messages on its letter board sign that asserted that Barack Obama is a Muslim and that he is not legally president. Example messages that were documented on the websites include:

  • Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man.[13]
  • Jesus would stone homos. Stoning is still the law. (This message also included citations of four biblical verses.)[14]
  • The blood of Jesus against Obama. History made 4 Nov 2008 a Taliban Muslim illegally elected president USA: Hussein[15]
  • Many of these homos moving into Harlem looking for some black meat[16]

In March 2014, Local Lesbian and Transgender Activist Jennifer Louise Lopez knocked on the church door to ask for her stoning [17]

In August 2014, Manning promised that President Vladimir Putin of Russia would release information collected by the KGB that would prove that President Obama is homosexual.[18]

In November 2014, Manning claimed in a video presentation that Starbucks was "Ground Zero" for Ebola. He warned people to stay away from Starbucks if they did not want to get Ebola.[19] In a follow-up broadcast, he claimed that what "Starbucks was doing, is they were taking specimens of male semen, and they were putting it in the blends of their lattes. Now, this is the absolute truth."[20] He based this on an article in The Inquisitor.[21]

On November 5, Manning claimed that in "a few days' time," there would be no homosexuals in Harlem and Starbucks would close.[20]

In January 2016, a state judge ordered Atlah Worldwide Church to be sold at a public foreclosure auction after failing to pay creditors more than $1.02 million, court records show.[22] The Church maintains they are afforded tax exempt status by the New York Supreme Court and are not liable for the fines[23] citing the Court's ruling in December 2004.[24] The Ali Forney Center announced their interest in acquiring it for the purposes of an LGBT youth homeless services center, and raised $200,000 in two weeks from a fund-raiser to achieve that goal.[25][26] A temporary stay on the sale was granted pending a full hearing on 21, April 2016. Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center planned to use the time to research the property.[27] In September the judgment of foreclosure was vacated.[28]


  • Chief Pastor: James David Manning
  • Coordinator of the Women Ministers and Ministries, Counselor, and Sunday School Teacher: Elizabeth Sarah Manning[29]


  1. ^ a b Mara Altman (3 April 2007). "Do the Dew: Prophet Loss in Harlem". The Village Voice. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  2. ^ FEENEY, MICHAEL J. (25 August 2011). "Harlem pastor James David Manning preaches 'Obama is Evil' on church signs, angering local residents". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mother Keturah Breakfast Program Today". ATLAH Media Network. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ David Weigel (12 March 2010). "Obama On Trial". Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "Bethelite Community Baptist Church originally the Harlem Club". New York Architecture. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Our Mission Statement". 1 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Seminary page Archived October 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Pastor James David Manning Bio". ATLAH Media Network. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  11. ^ From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. 2004. p. 124. 
  12. ^ "Jennifer Louise Lopez Asks Anti-Gay Harlem Church To Stone Her". Huffpost Gay Voices. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Coscarelli, Joe. "'Obama Has Released the Homo Demons,' Church Sign Warns". New York Magazine. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Hallowell, Billy. "Pastor Posts Church Sign About 'Stoning' Gays That You'll Have to See to Believe". The Blaze. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Photograph". Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Neighbors confront controversial Harlem pastor over 'hateful' church sign - New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. 
  17. ^ Nichols, James Michael (2014-03-20). "Watch What Happens When A Lesbian Asks This Anti-Gay Church To Stone Her". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  18. ^ Putin Will Out Obama As Gay Within 100 Days. YouTube. 6 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Stay Away From Starbucks. YouTube. 28 October 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Starbucks Using Sodomites' Semen In Lattes. YouTube. 5 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Were Semen Samples Really Found In Starbucks Drinks Nationwide, Initiating An FDA Investigation?". The Inquisitr News. 
  22. ^ "Controversial church in Harlem may go up for public auction". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  23. ^ "Court Rules ATLAH Church Water And Sewer Tax Exempt". The Manning Report. Feb 11, 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Supreme Court, New York County, New York (December 28, 2004). "IN RE: BETHELITE COMMUNITY CHURCH". Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  25. ^ "LGBT Group Eyes Purchase Of Anti-Gay Church Building In Harlem". CBS New York. February 1, 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (February 9, 2016). "Activists Achieve Goal of Raising Enough Money to Buy Church With Famous Homophobic Signs". Mediaite. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  27. ^ Closure of ‘Jesus would stone homos’ church delayed amid legal challenge
  28. ^ "Controversial Atlah Church Avoids Foreclosure Once Again". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  29. ^ "Elder Elizabeth Sarah Manning Bio". ATLAH Media Network. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′22″N 73°56′46″W / 40.8062°N 73.9462°W / 40.8062; -73.9462