Harlem Temple Corps, formerly called New York 8 and most recently updated to The Harlem Temple Worship Center, originated in 1892 initially located on the lower east side of Manhattan. After relocating to many temporary sites moved to the Harlem community on the upper west side in 1919. Finding a permanent location in 1987 the Commanding Officers Majors Abraham and Louise Johnson along with the soldiers marched into a new edifice, the largest corps and community center in the USA at the time. Using mobile feeding truck (canteens) a community feeding program was established that fed approximately four hundred residents daily. Many people joined as traditional Salvation Army programs was implemented helping to meet the varying spiritual and social needs of all age groups. Recognized as a positive asset to the community, our corps officers joined forces with community leaders to support and sit on political and civic committees.
Harlem Temple’s worship music, both played and sung, has its roots in gospel music, which makes it rather unique in comparison to music utilized in traditional Salvation Army worship.
A gospel group called The New Sounds for Christ was formed at Harlem Temple in 1976. Today it is the longest standing contemporary gospel group in The Salvation Army. Over the years more than one hundred and fifty soldiers participated and helped spread the gospel through the melodic strains of the group.
In the spring of 1977 The Black Ministries Committee was established to advise the Territorial Commission on Planning and Goals of all aspects of Salvation Army ministries with the black community. Their involvement involved in a wide range of projects and made recommendations to the Territorial Commission on Planning and Goals on such varied matters as the candidate seminars, inner-city seminars, organizing divisional and territorial heritage events. a composite statement on Salvationism in the Black community, a Black Ministries Newsletter, a helpful bibliography of Black oriented literature, a new young people’s song book, and the spirit of Salvationism in the Black community.
The goal for the committee was to encourage the sensitivity of the Army to needs of persons of African descent to heighten awareness and result in attracting persons of African descent in greater number throughout all phases of the ministry.
It was the goal then and remains the goal today.
Read more about the history of Salvationists with African descent in this new book!
Here is some of Harlem Temple's pastors through the years:
Sr. Majors Lambert & Estava Bailey
(1926 - 1941 & 1955 - 1957)
Brigaiders B. Barton & Mildred McIntyre
(1956 - 1968)
Brigaiders Hugh & Berryl Morris
(1968 - 1972)
Majors Clifford & Edna Yearwood
(1995 - 2001)
Majors Raphael & Sandra Jackson
(2011 - 2015)
Lieutenants Chakanaka & Emeline Watch
(2015 - present)