Brooklyn Tabernacle

Coordinates: 40°41′27″N 73°59′14.8″W / 40.69083°N 73.987444°W / 40.69083; -73.987444
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Brooklyn Tabernacle
40°41′27″N 73°59′14.8″W / 40.69083°N 73.987444°W / 40.69083; -73.987444
LocationNew York City
CountryUnited States
DenominationNon-denominational Christian
Senior pastor(s)Jim Cymbala

Brooklyn Tabernacle is an evangelical non-denominational megachurch located at 17 Smith Street at the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn, New York City, United States. The senior pastor is Jim Cymbala.


The Brooklyn Tabernacle was originally established in 1847 as the Central Presbyterian Church, using the facilities of the First Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Willoughby Street and Pearl.[1]

In 1966, the church was renamed "Brooklyn Gospel Tabernacle" by the pastor Clair D. Hutchins.[2]

By the time Pastor Jim and Carol Cymbala took over the church leadership in the autumn of 1971, the congregation had dwindled to only 40 people who met in a rundown building on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.[3][4][5][6]

In the 1980s, the Brooklyn Tabernacle purchased the former Carlton Theatre at 292 Flatbush Avenue at 7th Avenue, converting the 1383-seat theatre into a church. After many years of decline, the church was revitalized as a non-denominational congregation, and became well-known as the home of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

In 1984, the church took its current name "The Brooklyn Tabernacle".[7]

The church remained in this location until 2002 when they moved into the former Loew's Metropolitan Theatre at 17 Smith Street.[8][9] The sanctuary seats 3,300 people.

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has received six Grammy Awards.[10][11] It is directed by Carol Cymbala, the wife of the main Pastor, Jim Cymbala.[12]

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the 2013 second inauguration of Barack Obama.[13]

The church has held three two-hour services weekly.[14]

In 2017, the church had 10,000 members.[15]


The current building was completely redone by Kostow Greenwood Architects and Robert Silman Associates by gutting and renovating the old vaudeville theater for modern worship, and with state-of-the-art acoustics and recording equipment. Two adjacent buildings were converted into offices, classrooms, community service areas, and dining facilities.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Industry Magazine A Perfect Union,, April 20, 2016
  2. ^ W. K. McNeil, Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music, Routledge, US, 2013, p. 52
  3. ^ Francesca Norsen Tate, Brooklyn Milestones In Faith for May 29,, USA, May 29, 2013
  4. ^ Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Michael O. Emerson, George Yancey, United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race, Oxford University Press USA, USA, 2004, p. 71
  5. ^ "Ministry Directory". Archived from the original on 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  6. ^ "Pastor Jim Cymbala". Archived from the original on June 7, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  7. ^ W. K. McNeil, Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music, Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames, 2013, p. 52
  8. ^ DAVID W. DUNLAP, For Churches, Births and Rebirths,, USA, DECEMBER 22, 2002
  9. ^ "Brooklyn - Brooklyn, NY". Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
  10. ^ Search results for "Carol Cymbala" Grammy Awards website
  11. ^ "The Choir - Discography - The Brooklyn Tabernacle". Archived from the original on 2020-10-01. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  12. ^ Archibold, Randal C. (2000-02-28). "Brooklyn Choir Wins Praise by Singing the Lord's Praises". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  13. ^ Brooklyn Tabernacle at Obama Inauguration Fox News Insider, Jan 21, 2013
  14. ^ Official FAQ Archived April 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Warren Bird, World megachurches, Leadership Network, USA, Retrieved November 21, 2017
  16. ^ "Brooklyn Tabernacle" on the Kostow Greenwood website
  17. ^ "Brooklyn Tabernacle Church" on the Robert Silman Associates website

External links[edit]